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DD may miss Twenty20 action

Mahender Singh Dhoni and his boys would be missing from millions of Indian television sets as the government failed to anticipate how big Twenty20 cricket would be in near future, Chetan Chauhan.

cricket Updated: Aug 11, 2007 04:13 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Mahender Singh Dhoni and his boys would be missing from millions of Indian television sets as the government failed to anticipate how big Twenty20 cricket would be in near future.

Unlike one-day matches and test matches, sharing the feed of Twenty20 cricket matches involving India with Prasar Bharati is not mandatory for the broadcaster. So about 85 per cent of cricket viewers, who get terrestrial signal from Doordarshan, would miss Team India’s fireworks in South Africa. Twenty20 cricket is dubbed as the sport for the younger generation. Star cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly also admitted this while ruling themselves out of the Twenty20 World Cup, starting from September 11.

Game in trouble

Sharing the feed of Twenty20 matches involving India with PrasarBharati is not mandatory for the broadcaster

About 85 per cent of viewers, who get terrestrial signal from Doordarshan, would miss India in action

The Govtis looking at other options to show matches on DD channels

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry missed out Twenty20 cricket when they got the law passed by Parliament on mandatory feed share earlier this year. “We never anticipated Twenty20 cricket could be so popular,” an I&B ministry official admitted.

ESPN-Star Sports, which holds rights for the cricket extravaganza is marketing the event as exclusive on the group’s three sports channels ESPN, Star Sports and Star Cricket. Asked if the matches involving India would be shared with Doordarshan, Managing Director of ESPN sports, RC Venkatesh, said, “we will follow the law.”

The law does not include Twenty20 matches for mandatory sharing with DD.

But anticipating huge viewership, the I&B ministry has asked Prasar Bharati to look into the possibility of showing the matches on Doordarshan channels. The ministry feels the matches can be shown on Doordarshan if a proper revenue sharing model is worked out. Under the law on mandatory feed sharing, the revenue sharing model is 75:25 in favour of the broadcaster. However, broadcasters have demanded up to 90 per cent revenue for the cricket feed.