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HC bars operators on airing cricket

Delhi HC restrains cable operators from airing unauthorised broadcast of the India's tour of Australia.

cricket Updated: Dec 23, 2007 17:07 IST

Leading sports broadcaster ESPN Star Sports on Sunday said it has got an injunction from the Delhi High Court restraining cable operators from airing unauthorised cricket broadcast of the India's tour of Australia through their network.

The company said in a statement that the Delhi High Court has ruled in its favour in its suit for permanent injunction filed against cable operators across the country against unauthorised broadcast of the India tour of Australia.

The court restrained all cable operators from unauthorisedly showing the forthcoming India Tour of Australia through their cable networks, it said.

ESPN, in its suit before the court, claimed that it had the sole and exclusive rights from Cricket Australia (CA) to telecast CA properties exclusively in India. ESPN contented that it expects rampant piracy in certain parts of the country.

Commenting on the development, ESPN Software India Vice President Affiliate Sales, Rajesh Kaul, said, "We will have a team of observers across the country to ensure that piracy does not happen and in case we spot any, we will align with the police to bring the guilty to the book."

The court restrained the 100 named cable operators from transmitting and/or telecasting in any manner whatsoever without license from ESPN the telecast of India Tour of Australia, the company said, adding that the operators have also been restrained from airing Fox Sports and Super Sports or any other channel or in any other manner infringing upon the copyright of ESS.

Also, the injunction order also applied to unnamed cable operators who may be found to be indulging in cable piracy of cricket matches played during the forthcoming India tour of Australia, it said.

The India tour of Australia involves 4 test matches, followed by a tri-angular ODI tournament involving India, Australia and Sri-Lanka, and a Twenty20 between India and Australia. ESS' new channel STAR Cricket will exclusively telecast the Test series while STAR Sports will broadcast the tri-angular tournament. The first Test match begins next week and will last till March 2008.