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DD in a tiff with British TV firm

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2010 01:01 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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Host broadcaster for Commonwealth Games Doordarshan (DD) has faced initial glitches with SIS (Satellite Information Service) Live of United Kingdom, which has been given the production contract for the Games starting on October 3.

DD’s Director General Aruna Sharma confirmed to HT that SIS Live was also to produce the Queen's Baton relay from 17 locations in 19 countries as against required 21 locations. “We have remedial measures under the contract which we will enforce,” Sharma said.

The Information and Broadcasting ministry had awarded the contract to SIS live for producing the games in high definition in October 2009, a few days before the Queen Baton relay was flagged off from London.

The delay in awarding the contract is said to be a reason for SIS Live — Europe's largest outside broadcaster— failing to meet its obligation. The company, however, did not respond to emails on this failure sent by HT last week.

It is for the first time that the Games would be shown on high definition like major recent international sports events such as FIFA world cup in South Africa and Olympics in China.

But, yet to be completed work at 12 venues, for which SIS live has been contracted, is causing a major concern. "During construction, proper care has not been taken to ensure that the broadcasting areas don't face direct sunlight. The company has problems with direct sunlight as it will impact the quality of high-definition production," a senior DD official said. In a bid to sort it out, the DD has asked the Organising Committee to cover all those areas from where direct or unnecessary sunlight was coming. "They have assured us of covering these areas by first week of September," a senior ministry functionary said.

Information and Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said that arrangements have been made for setting up of International Broadcast Centre (IBC) at Pragati Maidan for broadcast and relay of the games. "All activities in respect of IBC have been entrusted to a consortium comprising Global Television Services Pvt Ltd and Shaf Broadcast Pvt Ltd," she said.