The Information and Broadcasting ministry has shot off a strongly-worded letter to BCCI saying the denial of radio broadcasting of the India-England cricket matches to All India Radio (AIR) by Neo Sports, is against public interest.
AIR is the only radio channel allowed to broadcast cricket commentary or news in India but Neo Sports has the sole rights to broadcast cricket played in the country.
The ministry letter to BCCI also asks the latter to ensure that in future no frequency be sold to such companies which themselves do not have the broadcasting facilities.
Non-availability of running commentary of the cricket matches on radio would make people shift to TV thereby garnering more eyeballs.
The TV broadcast of the matches are available on Neo Cricket, a part of Neo Sports.
Neo Sports has refused to let AIR broadcast the cricket matches demanding that Prasar Bharati-which controls AIR and Doordarshan — should accept a 50:50 revenue sharing model.
A 2007 law empowering public broadcaster Doordarshan to demand mandatory sharing of signals for important sports events does not cover AIR.