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SC seeks response from Prasar Bharti

The Supreme Court sought response from the Prasar Bharti whether it was willing to share the Ten Sports' feed of the Indo-Pak series without any alteration.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 14:23 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Prasar Bharti whether it was willing to share the Ten Sports' feed of the Indo-Pak cricket series without any alteration.

A Bench headed by Ashok Bhan posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday, and asked the Solicitor General G E Vahanvati to take instructions from Bharti on the issue.

Ten Sports, the exclusive telecast right holder for the coming Indo-Pak cricket series, had moved the Supreme Court seeking stay of the government guidelines which make it mandatory for the sports channels to share feed of sporting events of national importance with Prasar Bharti.

The petition filed by Taj Television Ltd, owner of Ten Sports, has termed the guideline as arbitrary without the authority of the law.

Prasar Bharti has already filed a caveat to pre-empt Ten Sport from taking any ex-parte interim order against the High Court order.

The sports channel has challenged the Bombay High Court order refusing it any relief by which it has been compelled to share the live feed of the series commencing from January 13.

The Dubai-based TV channel has contended that the Centre cannot take away its right which was acquired in the foreign country.

The guidelines state that sports channels will share their feed with Prasar Bharati for "national and international sporting events of national importance" in India or abroad.

In case of cricket matches it will include all matches involving India.

Importantly, in case of cricket, guidelines are to operate retrospectively,that is, covering events for which broadcasting rights have been already bought.

Terming it as malafide exercise of power by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for making money at the cost of private channels, Ten Sports said it only has the exclusive right to decide with whom it wants to share the feed and in India it has chosen the cable operators.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 14:23 IST