The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Prasar Bharti on Ten Sports' plea to restrain the public broadcaster from interfering with its exclusive telecast rights of the forthcoming major cricket, hockey and tennis events.
The channel's plea was against sharing the feed of upcoming tri-series cricket, Champions Trophy and World Cup hockey (men and women), and US Open Tennis.
The matter was mentioned by Ten Sports Counsel P H Parekh before a Bench of Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice Markandey Katju which posted it for hearing on July 31.
In an application filed in the court, Ten Sports said it has obtained exclusive telecast rights of the above-mentioned sports events on payment of huge money and expressed the apprehension that by virtue of order dated April 5, 2006, Prasar Bharti may insist on the petitioner sharing with it the feed of ensuing hockey events and US Open Tennis tournament.
The petitioner said the women's Champions Trophy and World Cup hockey events were not covered by the said order but it included the events in the application by way of abundant caution.
By virtue of the recent Downlinking Guidelines issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Ten Sports said it will also be required to share the feed of the forthcoming cricket tri-series to be played in Sri Lanka between India, South Africa and the host nation from August 14 to 29, 2006.
Pointing out that the operation of the relevant part of the said Downlinking Guidelines were stayed on May 9, it requested the Court to pass a similar order with regard to the forthcoming sports events.