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Prasar Bharti gets SC nod to share live World Cup feed with private cable operators

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | February 20, 2015
The Supreme Court has stayed Delhi High Court's decision that Prasar Bharti should air matches only on its terrestrial and DTH platforms.

The Supreme Court has given permission to public broadcaster Prasar Bharti to share the live feed of ICC World Cup 2015 matches with private cable operators.

Prasar Bharti

ICC World Cup 2015

The SC has stayed Delhi High Court decision that Prasar Bharti should air matches only on its terrestrial and DTH platforms.

With this decision, DD channels (DD National and DD Sports) will now be telecasting the ICC World Cup 2015 matches live, along with the private and official broadcaster, Star Sports. The channels will air all the India matches, the semi-finals and final.

The issue arose when Star Sports challenged the Section 3 of Sports Act and Section 8 of the Cable TV Networks Act that states that, for any sporting event of national interest, the private broadcaster will have to share its live feed with the public broadcaster.

All cable operators have to compulsorily provide DD channels as part of their bouquet. If these channels start airing live matches of the tournament for free, it is highly doubtful that people would subscribe to Star Sports channels.

Worried by the losses in subscription and advertising revenue, Star Sports moved Delhi High Court. The private broadcaster reportedly said that it would suffer a loss of around Rs 120 crore (Rs 80 crore subscription revenue and Rs 40 crore advertising revenue), if the private cable operators are allowed to share the ICC World Cup 2015 feed.

Star Sports had even proposed to Prasar Bharti to air the World Cup 2015 feed on a separate channel that will be carried only on its terrestrial and DTH platforms. This would have helped Star Sports as people in households which do not get Star Sports, would subscribe to watch the matches. But, the pubcaster, calling it "infeasible", rejected the offer.