Doordarshan to telecast India-Pakistan World Cup match on February 15
Millions of Doordarshan viewers will be able to watch the India-Pakistan match live on television on 15th February, after the Supreme Court issued an order on Tuesday staying a Delhi High Court order which had barred the public broadcasting channel to beam the match on channels such as DD National and DD News.
Doordarshan will be provided the live feed of the matches by Star Sports, which holds exclusive telecasting rights for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Doordarshan in turn will provide that live feed to cable operators; the law makes it compulsory for all cable operators to carry Doordarshan’s channels.
Legal dispute between Star and Prasar Bharti
Star Sports and BCCI had submited a plea to the Delhi High Court contending that cable operators are able to pick up the state-run broadcaster's feed rather than having to subscribe to that of the rights holder, thus resulting in loss of revenue for the exclusive rights holder. The Delhi court had acted on the plea and restrained DD from showing the World Cup on its two channels.
Both the central government and Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordarshan, had appealed against the February 6 Delhi High Court decision in the top court.
The top court stayed the High Court order, and said that it would hear the case again on February 17, two days after the tournament starts on Sunday – by which time DD coverage of the epic World Cup clash will have beamed into millions of cricket fanatic homes in India. The craze surrounding the match is at an all-time high.
Whether DD can continue to show the rest of the World Cup will be decided at the February 17 hearing.
"We won't change things abruptly," Justice Gogoi said. "World Cups will come and go. Money lost can be earned. Money is not very important," he told former finance minister and senior advocate P Chidambaram, who was acting as representative for the Star group.