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Private DTH, cable TV platforms block DD National during Indo-Oz match to comply with SC order

MUMBAI: Viewers are unable to watch the India-Australia series on DD National as private multi-system operators (MSOs) and direct-to-home (DTH) operators have blocked the channel in compliance with the Supreme Court verdict.

As per the directive from the apex court, Prasar Bharati is restrained from sharing live feed of sporting events of national importance with private DTH and cable TV platforms.

“Saw reactions from viewers on why @DDNational signal is not available on private DTH platforms and cable operators during cricket match. Due to Supreme Court verdict, matches where rights are shared with @prasarbharati will be available only on DD FreeDish & Terrestrial,” Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Vempati posted on his Twitter following queries from irate customers.

A Twitter user pointed out how the cricket coverage on DD National was available on Jio TV app but not on private DTH and cable platforms.

With DTH and cable TV platforms blocking DD National, customers will have to shell out more in case sports channels are not part of their package.

On 22 August, the bench of justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha had affirmed the order passed by Delhi High Court on 4 February 2015 by ruling that live feed received by Prasar Bharati from content rights owners or holders is only for the purpose of re-transmission of the said signals on its own terrestrial and DTH networks and not to private cable operators.

The Delhi HC order in contention had ruled that the live broadcasting signal shared by Star with Prasar Bharati cannot be carried in the designated Doordarshan channels under the must carry obligation.

Section 3 of the Sports Act requires private broadcasters to share the live broadcasting signals of sporting events of national importance with the Prasar Bharati for retransmission of the same through its terrestrial and DTH networks.

Section 8 of the CTN Act requires cable operators to mandatorily carry Doordarshan channels that may be notified by the central government from time to time on their cable networks.

The apex court had stated that the obligation on cable operators to transmit the DD1 (National) channel and the transmission of live feed of major sports events of national importance on the said channel by the Doordarshan is a matter of mere coincidence rather than a legislative mandate.