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Indo-Pak cricket series: Trai to take call on DD’s telecast rights today

20-February-2004
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Indo-Pak cricket series: Trai to take call on DD’s telecast rights today

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) would offer a view on the terrestrial telecast rights to India-Pakistan cricket series on Friday, according to the chairman, Mr Pradip Baijal. The regulator was drawn into the cricket telecast controversy when Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma sought Trai intervention in bagging the terrestrial rights to the forthcoming India-Pakistan series. Mr Baijal had even met officials of Ten Sports, exclusive satellite rights holder to the series, on the issue.

Mr Sarma reasoned that public broadcasters of other countries, including UK’s BBC, is allowed terrestrial rights to sporting events of national importance.

Despite Ten Sports having the exclusive satellite rights, Mr Sarma insists that terrestrial rights should be with DD for larger viewership.

Interestingly, this is a content issue, and should not be under the purview of Trai.

To that, Mr Baijal said: “Let me see. We are examining the Prasar Bharati letter and will give our opinion tomorrow.”

A government official, however, said, it’s an issue related to “competition and reach”, and not just content.

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