ESPN secures injunction against illegal carriage of T20 world cup matches

MUMBAI: ESPN Software India, the sports broadcaster, on Friday said it has obtained an injunction from the Delhi High Court against cable operators, hotels and websites illegally carrying the signals of the oncoing ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.

ESPN, in a statement, said the high court has restrained all cable operators, hotels and internet websites from unauthorisedly showing the cricket tournament in any manner.

The high court passed the restraining order after the sports broadcaster filed a suit claiming that it has just cause for apprehension that the defendants, approximately 34 named cable operators, hotels and Internet websites, may take unauthorised connections and may unauthorisedly access signals of the cricket tournament without taking a licence from the company.

The high court has also restrained unnamed entities who may be found to be indulging in signal piracy. The police authorities concerned have been directed to render all assistance to ESPN to enforce the order of injunction, the company said.

After this order anyone showing the broadcast of ICC World Twenty20 through any unauthorized means or on any other channel is liable to be held in contempt of court and can be prosecuted, ESPN said.

The court has also permitted ESPN to take action against "unnamed" entities not party to the suit but are found to be unauthorisedly utilising the feed of ESPN, Star Cricket HD and Star Cricket without license, the statement added.

Speaking on the occasion, ESPN Software India Vice President-Affiliate Sales T S Panesar said, "We welcome the order. This order will help us in curbing any unauthorized telecast of our channels. We already have a team across the country who is trying to ensure that piracy does not happen and in case we spot any, we will bring the guilty to the book."

All the 27 matches of the championship are being shown live by ESS on its channels Star Cricket and Star Cricket HD with English commentary. The broadcaster is also doing a simulcast of all India matches, semi-finals and the final of the championship with Hindi commentary on ESPN channel.

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