Supreme Court: Doordarshan can show all World Cup matches
To put an end to the ongoing stand-off between Star Sports and Prasar Bharti, the Supreme Court of India on Friday has ruled that Doordarshan (DD) can show ICC World Cup 2015 matches free of cost. Delivering a huge set back to Star Sports – the official broadcaster of the tournament in India – the apex judiciary body has said Prasar Bharti can share the feeds with cable operators too.
Earlier, Star Sports had moved the Delhi High Court which barred Prasar Bharti from telecasting World Cup matches and sharing the feeds freely with cable operators. Star Sports argued that this would hurt its advertisement revenue and subscription fees in turn incurring a huge revenue loss as it has invested crores of rupees on the rights. Prasar Bharti, to put its foot down on the issue, went to the Supreme Court and sought a stay on the Delhi High Court order.
Star Sports had suggested Prasar Bharti, the national broadcaster, to create a dedicated channel to beam matches to its subscribers and wanted them to run a disclaimer on the screen declaring the feed wasn't for cable operators and action would be taken if there was violation in this regard.
However, Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Prasar Bharti, told the court that it had limited number of transmitters to cater to and it’s not technically feasible to create a new channel just to show a few cricket matches thereby justifying sharing the feeds with cable operators.
But now that the Supreme Court, in its final directive, has declared that matches can be shown on DD for free, fans across the country, especially those in the remote areas, have something to cheer about.