Written by Utkarsh Anand | | February 10, 2015 2:44:33 pm
Amid the uncertainty whether the Doordarshan channels could telecast 2015 Cricket World Cup matches, the Centre on Monday moved the Supreme Court against an order barring Prasar Bharati from sharing with cable operators the matches’ live feed, of which ESPN and Star have exclusive broadcasting rights.
The appeals filed by the Centre and Prasar Bharati against the Delhi High Court order was mentioned before a bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu, which fixed it for hearing on Tuesday.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who mentioned the matter for an urgent listing, said that the High Court order was not only against the mandate of the Sports Act and Cable TV Network Act but was also contrary to public interest.
The AG argued that it was mandatory under laws for the private channels to share the feeds with Prasar Bharati for providing it on DD’s free-to-air terrestrial channels.
BCCI, ESPN and Star had claimed that cable TV operators were getting live feeds through DD channels free of cost, resulting in loss of revenue for them. The Court, however, rejected their additional prayers to strike down section 3 of the Sports Act, which makes it mandatory for them to share with Prasar Bharati the live feed of sporting events of national importance.
The High Court had also refused to grant relief of striking down a year 2000 notification issued by Prasar Bharati which made it mandatory for cable operators to carry DD National and DD News channels.