Rejecting the BCCI offer to pay for encryption of cricket signal in India, a government committee has recommended eight different technologies that can be adopted and has said that it can take up to six months to install the system for encrypting the cricket signal.
Prasar Bharati is required to install set top boxes in its 1,400 terrestrial transmitters all over the country to segregate cricket match signals for the cable and non-cable homes. The cable homes, under the new arrangement proposed by BCCI, will get cricket match feed of the broadcaster holding the rights whereas the non-cable homes would be able to watch the match through Doordarshan’s (DD) terrestrial network.
The issue cropped up in January this year after Neo Sports refused to provide live feed of India-West Indies series to DD, resulting in non-cable homes not been able to watch the match. Thereafter, the I&B ministry appointed a technical committee headed by Director-General, All India Radio, Brijeshwar Singh, to examine the possibility of encryption of the signals. When contacted Singh refused to comment, saying the report was with the government for the final decision.
The committee, in its report, submitted to the ministry has stated that encryption was possible but there are differing opinion on the time frame. The private broadcasters like ESPN and Neo Sports have stated that encryption was possible within a month, Prasar Bharati officials claim that it can take up to six months. “Views of different stakeholders have been presented to the government to take final decision,” a committee member told HT.
Prasar Bharati also told the committee that it has sufficient funds for encryption and will not require BCCI’s money for the job. The member said the cost for encryption would not be very high even though there are seven to eight technologies available for encrypting the signal. “The committee has also proposed a few funding models to the government,” he informed.
According to I&B ministry officials, the report is being examined and the final decision would be taken soon.