Scatmag.com

November 2018

LAW CHANGE TO ENSURE SPORTS FEED?



BACKGROUND

More than a decade ago, the government issued 'The Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007' to ensure that all sports events of 'national importance' were viewed by all citizens of the country, free, via Doordarshan.


SUPREME COURT ORDER

Star India challenged the order in the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2017 that Prasar Bharati, (which runs Doordarshan) can only air the feed from private broadcasters on its terrestrial and FreeDish DTH platforms.

Cable TV networks are prohibited from retransmitting the sports feeds. This excluded almost 90 Million Indian homes from receiving and enjoying sports events of national importance.

For now, DD has stopped carrying the sports feeds on its DD National or regional channels.


NEW LAW?

The I&B ministry advised by the law ministry that the law could be amended to ensure free viewing of these national events.






COMMENTS INVITED

The government now proposes amending the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007 to ensure retransmission of Doordarshan's feeds of these events on Cable TV, DTH and IPTV networks.

On 16 October 2018, the I&B ministry issued a statement inviting comments and suggestions from stakeholders from the industry and the public on the proposed amendment.


PROS & CONS

The general public will certainly benefit, from the new law. That is how it should be.

Sports bodies that organise these events and sell TV rights for several thousand crores will be hit along with the pay channel broadcasters that purchase these rights. The sports and individual sportsmen will also be affected. Smaller events and not-so-popular sports which are not categorised as 'Sports Events of National Importance' will not be affected. n