THE IPL will be streamed on Doordarshan, the national broadcaster, for the first-time ever in 2018 though it will be restricted to one match per week and that too with a one-hour delay in the broadcast.
Star Sports, who won the rights for the IPL last September, has agreed to the idea mooted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) and will have a delayed broadcast of one match every Sunday.
Prasar Bharati too had tweeted about how Doordarshan viewers can “watch IPL matches on DD network” for the first time. Star India CEO Uday Shankar though made it clear that they will be showing only one of the two Sunday matches on DD Sports.
“It’s only one match per week and on a Sunday with an one hour delay. It’s not like international cricket that has to be shared with national broadcaster. We are comfortable with this and that’s why we have gone ahead. It only helps the IPL if it reaches people that don’t have access to Pay TV,” Uday Shankar, Star CEO, said.
While rights-holders have shared the broadcast of India matches with Doordarshan, since they come under the gambit of being in “national importance”, Prasar Bharati and Star India have been locked in a debate over whether the broadcasters need to show some of the IPL matches on free-to-air national TV.
There have been reports over the last few months of how the I&B ministry had been working on a proposal to get the IPL on Doordarshan.
Star though have continued to play hard ball. And a few days ago during an Idea Exchange, sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore too had joined in the debate revealing that the I&B ministry had asked the Sports Ministry for their response on the matter.
“Well, the I&B Ministry had mooted the idea and asked for our comments. The Sports Ministry has responded. There are a couple of things that need consideration. Firstly, if IPL is made mandatory, which is a private league, then what about the other leagues? Would they also be made mandatory?,” Rathore had said. “Secondly, the Sports Ministry wants federations to be financially independent. Not all leagues are making millions but some of the sports federations have managed to make some profits. But if we were to make the DD telecast mandatory would it not affect their profits? Thirdly, we need to keep in mind that the athletes here are not playing for the country, they are playing for their own clubs. All these issues need to be considered before we take a decision,” the minister added.