Around 120 billion Doordarshan viewers will not be able to watch the upcoming India-South Africa three Test match series starting March 26, as the government on Monday decided not to declare the series as sporting event of national importance.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) decided not to declare the upcoming India-South Africa Test cricket series starting from March 26, 2008, as sporting event of national importance for the purpose of sharing of broadcast signals with Prasar Bharati.
The ministry has taken the decision keeping in mind the Delhi High Court Order dated February 28, 2008 in WP (C) No. 9610/2007 in the matter of Ravi Dev Gupta V/s Union of India and Another.
The order had stated that Central Government has to take a decision either way. It had also said that the government should take a decision on the issue in two weeks.
The government as per the Delhi High Court's order has taken the decision as per the guidelines of the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007.
This Act provides for mandatory sharing of sports signals by right owners for all such events which are notified by the Central Government under Clause(s) of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the said Act and after following the procedure prescribed under the provisions of said Act and rules made thereto.
This decision of the government thus leaves Nimbus Communications as the sole broadcaster of the series.