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Star warns cable TV, DTH platforms against re-transmitting DD’s feed of India cricket matches

MUMBAI: Broadcaster Star India has issued a public notice warning private cable TV and direct-to-home (DTH) platforms against re-transmitting the Indian cricket team’s matches on DD National in violation of the Supreme Court order.

Star noted that the India–Australia ODI match being re-transmitted by Prasar Bharati is being telecast/made available by many private cable and satellite operators (cable/DTH/IPTV/HITS) in contravention of the SC order and Prasar Bharati’s direction that these matches are not meant for re-transmission on private distribution platforms.

“By this notice, private cable and satellite operators (Cable/ DTH I IPTV /HITS) are hereby cautioned to refrain from re-transmitting the live feed of the said series’ in violation of SIPL’s rights, directions of Prasar Bharati as contained in the scroll, and of the judgment,” Star said in the notice.

In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court had held that live feed of sporting events received by Prasar Bharati from rights owners under Section 3 of the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharat) Act 2007 is only for the purpose of re-transmission on its own terrestrial and DTH network Freedish.

The feeds cannot be re-transmitted by private cable and satellite operators (cable, DTH, IPTV or HITS) despite the fact that DD channels have to be mandatorily carried by all distribution platforms under the Cable TV Act.

Pursuant to the judgment, Prasar Bharati has been running a scroll stating “As per the judgment dated 22.8.2017 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal Nos 10732-10733 of 2017 the feed is not meant for cable operators and private DTH platform” during the match in the India–Australia Series 2017 dated 17 September.

“Please note that the broadcast rights of the (i) India vs. Australia Cricket Series 2017 and (ii) India as New Zealand Cricket Series 2017 (“said Sen.”) are exclusively licensed to Star India Private Limited (“SIPL”),” the pubcaster has said cautioning the private distribution platforms.

Star India is India’s top cricket broadcaster with rights to leading properties like International Cricket Council (ICC), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC). It had recently bagged Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights till 2022 for a whopping Rs 16,347.5 crore.

While the matches featuring Indian team come under the purview of Sports Act, the IPL doesn’t fall under mandatory sharing clause of the act. All events of national importance have to be mandatorily shared with DD, as per the Sports Act.