The government has threatened to take action against Nimbus if 'superior quality live feed' is not shared with Prasar Bharati (PB) as per the recently notified Ordinance on sports broadcast. Nimbus, on its part, said that it has left the matter at the discretion of Delhi High Court, where the issue would be heard on Thursday.
A senior I&B ministry official told Hindustan Times that Nimbus was 'categorically' told on Tuesday at a meeting called by BCCI chief Sharad Pawar that action as per downlinking guidelines would be taken, if the stipulations of the Ordinance, notified last week, is not followed. The channel not following the guidelines can be banned and a penalty of Rs one crore can also be imposed.
Nimbus' objection is against the stipulation in the Ordinance that it will have to share live feed with PB even for cable homes and DTH service. Nimbus chairperson Harish Thiwani said question of taking action does not arise as they are following the court orders. "Whether it is an Ordinance or the guidelines the final word is of the court of law. We will abide by the court's verdict," he said. On Thursday's match, he said, DD will get seven minute delayed feed as per the earlier court order, a violation of the Ordinance.
The talks between Nimbus and PB on sharing of live feed failed on Wednesday. "We have to wait for the court's verdict," a PB official commented, but added that it will inform the court about complaints against Nimbus by Dish TV of Zee Group, about the inferior quality Neo Sports feed. Nimbus had provided 15 camera feed to DD as against 30 camera broadcast shown on its own channel.
Two committees to resolve the issue have been constituted - a technical committee by I&B ministry having officials from PB and all sports broadcast companies and the other by BCCI. "The BCCI committee will look at all aspects of the Ordinance and will talk to the government. I am hopeful that the issue will be resolved," said BCCI media committee convenor Rajiv Shukla. He added that the board is not against sharing the feed but wants to find a "middle path".