A BBC team was seen shooting footage of the Delhi-Orissa Ranji Trophy match at the Kotla on Sunday. Many people were left wondering if the BBC had the rights to do that, given that Nimbus has the exclusive telecast rights of international and domestic cricket in India.
Sunil Dev, DDCA sports secretary, said the BBC filmed some shots of the match as they were making a documentary on Indian cricket, and had secured permission from the BCCI in advance. But HT found that permission wasn’t necessarily required. Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI’s chief administrative officer, said the board did not have any problems as long as the pictures were not used for live telecast. He added there was no need to seek permission as the board did not stop even Indian channels from shooting domestic matches, provided the content was not used for live telecast.
Indian news channels will be happy to hear this, for even now, they are not allowed to carry cameras into grounds at many venues. Nimbus has the broadcast rights, and therefore it is understood that no other company is allowed to put images out on a real-time basis. But still, the board has not been this accommodating - perhaps understandably because some channels have violated this understanding. This could be good news for others who play by the rules.