The gruelling India-South Africa cricket series may not be available on the Doordarshan’s platform as ESPN-Star Sports have refused to share feed with the public broadcaster.
The rights’ holder has quoted precedent to deny the feed to DD, even though it is mandated under the downlinking and uplinking guidelines of the ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
At a meeting with Prasar Bharati officials on Thursday, the broadcasters quoted two foreign series involving India for not sharing the feed. They were India-Pakistan series, whose rights were with Ten Sports and the BCCI Cup in Kaula Lampur, shown exclusively by Zee Sports. “DD has recently set a precedent and we are going by that,” Managing Director, ESPN, R C Venkatesh told Hindustan Times.
While Venkatesh said that DD has not formally approached ESPN for sharing the cricket feed for the series, DDA officials pointed out that the issue was discussed in detail on Thursday with ESPN officials. “They have offered us 90 minutes highlights of the day’s pay which is not acceptable to us,” a senior DD official said.
DD has sought the live cricket feed to show the matches on its terrestrial network, which ESPN has rejected. Till Friday evening, the impasse prevailed even as DD officials were confident that the issue will be resolved by Saturday, a day before first one day international match between India and South Africa. “As of today we are not showing the matches,” a DD official confirmed.
ESPN has already moved Supreme Court against the downlinking policy making it mandatory for the sports broadcasters to share feed with DD. On the other hand, the I&B ministry is contemplating to bring a legislation in the winter session of Parliament to make sharing of feed as part of broadcasting laws.