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Govt picks 5 sports for free-to-air telecast

Indian sports fans can now watch football, hockey, tennis, chess and billiards/snooker on Doordarshan without paying for it.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 21:03 IST

Indian sports fans can now watch five major events— football, hockey, tennis, chess and billiards/snooker— on public service broadcaster Doordarshan without paying for it.

Viewers can also watch Olympics Games and Asian Games, while cricket has been covered under the down-linking guidelines, said Prasar Bharati in a statementon Thursday.

Prasar Bharati, which owns Doordarshan, said that a government communication has made it mandatory for private channels holding rights to major events to share the feed with the government-controlled Doordarshan.

"Live feeds, without any advertisements of the sports channels/sports rights holders, of the sporting events of national importance held in India or abroad are required to be shared with Prasar Bharati with immediate effect by sports channels/sports management companies having television broadcasting rights, for broadcast on their terrestrial and DTH (direct to home) networks," it said.

The list of five sports has been drawn up by the ministry of information and broadcasting after consultations with the ministry of sports and youth affairs, Prasar Bharati and sports channels and sports rights holder companies, said the statement.

The listed sports events are as follows:

International sports events: Olympics Games (summer and winter), Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Afro-Asian Games

Tennis: Davis Cup: All matches featuring India and semi-finals and final. All final matches (men's and women's) of Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, including those matches featuring an Indian player in quarter-finals and above and final matches of Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Championships

Hockey: All matches featuring India and semi-finals and final of the World Cup and the Champions Trophy. Semi-finals and final of Beighton Cup and Indira Gandhi Gold Cup in the domestic circuit

Football: Semi-finals and finals of the World Cup, European Cup and all matches featuring India and semi-finals and finals of the Asia Cup. Semi-finals and final of Subroto Cup, Santosh Trophy, Federation Cup, Durand Cup, National Women Championship and Junior National Championship

Chess: Final of the World Championship and the Chess Olympiad, including all matches featuring an Indian player in quarterfinals and above.

Billiards and snooker: Finals of the World Championship, including all matches featuring an Indian player in quarterfinals and above.

The list will be valid for five years and is subject to review annually.

"With the issuance of the list of sporting events, India joins the league of Australia, United Kingdom, Italy and other members of the European Union who have similar guidelines to ensure that all sporting events of national importance are made available to public in a free-to-air mode," sad the statement.

First Published: Apr 20, 2006 20:26 IST