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DD barred from airing WI series

Ten Sports sought to restrain Prasar Bharti from downlinking the live feed.

india Updated: May 13, 2006 21:33 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained Prasar Bharati from airing on Doordarshan the upcoming India-West Indies Test and ODI matches, the exclusive telecast rights of which are with Ten Sports.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhan directed that Prasar Bharti will not take any coercive step or action for taking the live feed of the matches.

Ten Sports had moved the apex court seeking to restrain Prasar Bharti from downlinking the live feed of the matches.

The private channel had filed an application contending that if the matches were simulcast on Doordarshan, it would suffer a huge loss.

It had said it has already sold distribution rights to Set Discovery Pvt Ltd (SEDT), which will have the right to license throughout the country.

The channel had said if interim relief was not granted to it, the court's order delivered before the recent Indo-Pak series would become infructuous.

Taj Television Ltd, owner of Ten Sports, had filed the petition seeking stay of the government guidelines making it mandatory for sports channels to share feed of sporting events of national importance with Prasar Bharati.

It had challenged the validity and legality of downlinking guidelines terming them as arbitrary without the authority of law.

Earlier, the court had allowed live telecast of Indo-Pak ODIs on DD after Ten Sports and Prasar Bharti reached an agreement that the latter would deposit a sum of Rs 15 crore in court.

However, the bench had observed that last time it was a series with Pakistan and "matches of an Indo-Pak series are different from the others ... For West Indies, many people may not be interested."

The sports channel had challenged the Bombay High Court order of December 21, 2005 refusing to grant any relief.

The matter pending before the High Court was later transferred to the apex court.