Television

Prasar Bharati board seeks government intervention on sports telecast rights

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Sport. A programming property that keeps millions glued to their TV sets in India, especially when cricket and Tendulkar are in full flow. In recent times, pubcaster Doordarshan has been beaten back by private companies who have anted up top dollars to acquire prime sports events. Among the big events that DD has missed out on or has looked like it is going to are the Fifa World Cup which is in progress right now and the ICC cricket rights which are with WSG-Nimbus and Sony. 

Irked by this, the Prasar Bharati board chaired by former space scientist Prof U.R. Rao, is calling for government intervention to make sure that DD is not left out of the sports loop. Sources indicate that the board is petitioning the Union government to bring in a law which will ensure that telecast rights of all important sports events accrue to DD.

If the government does agree, it could deliver a body blow to sports rights holders, who have built up positions in events for the long term, says an industry observer. It's quite possible that passing of the legislation could lead to protests and litigation.

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