Madras HC directs govt to decide on PIL seeking free sports streaming on DD platforms

MUMBAI: The Madras High Court has directed the central government to take a decision whether the Sports Act 2007 can be amended to allow Doordarshan to stream sporting events of national importance on its Over The Top (OTT) platforms.

Under the Sports Broadcast Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Rules, 2007, sports broadcasters are required to provide the feed of sporting events of national events to Prasar Bharati for free re-transmission on the public broadcaster’s terrestrial and direct to home (DTH) platforms.

The direction was passed by a bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad on a PIL filed by a Mumbai-based sound engineer Aditya Modi.

The bench ordered officials to take an appropriate decision supported by “cogent and plausible reasons preferably within three months”. It also stated that this was a clear subject of policy decision to be undertaken by the government after examining various factors.

The PIL contended that citizens having access to the internet were being denied access to sports events of national importance because of the restriction in the sports broadcasting law.

The contention was opposed by respondents including Prasar Bharati stating that none of the rights, including the fundamental rights, of citizens were being affected.