Sports broadcasters numbed by government bouncer

NEW DELHI: Like a lethal Shoaib Akhtar or Brett Lee delivery, private sports broadcasters are still trying to fathom what hit them and are fuming that the government did not take into consideration their concerns while framing a law relating to sports broadcast as it would effect development of sports, in general, in the country.

“It’s a retrograde step that could have been done without,” stated ESPN India managing director RC Venkateish.

Another private broadcaster said that the clauses that have been cleared by the Indian Cabinet relating to uplink and downlink policies, especially those on mandatory sharing of content with pubcaster Prasar Bharati, are “contentious” and can still “open up a can of legal worms.”

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a host of stringent media related legislation, including mandatory sharing of sports content by private broadcasters with pubcaster Prasar Bharati.

Such shared content will be telecast by Doordarshan on its terrestrial and direct-to-home (DTH) service and the regulation applies on all future events, including those covered by existing contracts.

Pointing out that the private broadcasters had held talks with government officials on finding a solution to make available popular sports on free TV --- Doordarshan --- Venkateish lamented that the final outcome has totally failed to take into account the “legitimate concerns” of private channels.

He conceded that cost of sports rights for India would crash drastically and, in general, private funding of sports development might also get affected.

Another sports broadcaster said that the mandatory sharing of feed with DD will affect cost of cricket rights largely and that the government step is almost akin to “harking back to days of nationalisation in the 1970s, much before the era of liberalisation had been set in motion.” learns that some of the private broadcasters and agencies involved in buying and selling of sports content are mulling moving courts over the mandatory sharing of sports content with DD for events played within and outside the country.

“Other options like seeking legal redressal will be considered and moving the courts cannot be ruled out,” a private broadcaster admitted, fuming at the fact the government is angling to take away a large slice of revenue pie.

While Ten Sports, which has got embroiled in legal spat with Prasar Bharati over the telecast rights issue twice in the past, was not available for any comments, the newly-launched Zee Sports welcomed the government move.

“We have been always open to sharing feed with DD and welcome this step taken by the government,” Zee Telefilms senior vice-president Ashish Kaul said.

Officials of Prasar Bharati, which manages DD and All India Radio, of course, cannot hide their smiles.

Quoting a saying in Hindustani --- that the camel (read private broadcasters) has finally come under a mountain and found a match --- an official of DD admitted that had the private broadcasting industry not tried to take the terrestrial network for granted on popular events, the government might not have thought of mandating such content sharing.

The piece of legislation okayed by the government yesterday had raised the heckles of agencies worldwide. Even the International Cricket Council (ICC) had written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, exhorting him to take a more liberal approach on the rights issue.

Questioned on ICC’s letter to Singh, information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy mocked the Council’s concerns saying, “People should know which side of the bread is buttered. After all, a majority of cricket-related monies come from India and the country has the right to frame a law to suit its needs.”

Latest Reads
Pro Wrestling League rallies on North India viewership

MUMBAI: The third edition of the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) proved to be a hit among the younger viewers while attracting audiences of all age groups. Moreover, 77 per cent of the viewership came from North India for the season.

Television TV Channels Sports
Catch the Superr Heropanti of bandbudh aur budbak only on Discovery Kids

Discovery Kids, the leading animation channel from Discovery Communications India, has launched its new series Bandbudh aur Budbak from 12th February. The show follows the fun school life adventures of two best friends, Badrinath and Buddhadeb who often land in trouble because of their antics but...

Television TV Channels Kids
Debates continue to reap rewards for Eng news channels on prime time

Prime-time shows on Indian English news channels have struggled to budge from their reliance on the debate format. In spite of access to new technologies, the content of the programming during the slot has largely remained the same. Even the allure of virtual reality (VR) and the latest production...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Celebrate the month of love with Dil Beats - a show curated by 'Sanam' on MTV Beats

February is shaping up to be an exciting month for the viewers of MTV Beats – the 24x7 Hindi Music TV channel with a new show line up of specially curated concepts, will be all about love and romance. Bringing alive its promise of providing an intense musical indulgence, MTV Beats brings the...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Renault MTV Roadies Xtreme powered by OPPO co-powered by ID Shoes & Durex ups its ante with marquee sponsors for its milestone season

Having garnered an overwhelming response and appreciation year-on-year for fifteen long years, cult reality show, Roadies is back with its all new season, Roadies Xtreme.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Sun TV, Star Maa only non-Hindi players in across genre list

BENGALURU: The Sun TV Network’s flagship Tamil GEC Sun TV and Star India’s flagship Telugu GEC Star Maa were the only non-Hindi channels among Broadcast Audience Research Council's (BARC) weekly list of top 10 channels across genre all India (U+R): 2+ Individuals for week 6 of 2018 (Saturday, 3...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Higher taxes fail to dampen demand for Indian soaps in Sri Lanka

MUMBAI: In spite of stringent levies on imported content, the popularity of Indian shows is seeing an upward trend in the Sri Lankan market. Indian soaps have resonated well with audiences in the island nation, courtesy the flashier nature of the content in contrast to the rural and simple...

Television TV Channels GECs
BTVI’s Financial Planner engages with audience on personal wealth creation

BTVI, India’s premiere English business news channel hosted the on-ground event ‘Financial Planner’ in Pune and Mumbai. The channel has introduced this on-ground interactive opportunity for its viewers where a financial expert helps them build a solid financial future.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Ex-Times Now Anchor Shaheen Dawood joins iRealities as 'Lead Content Producer'

Former Times Now entertainment anchor Shaheen Dawood is now heading a large animation team at iRealities, one of the primeval and leading content production and marketing solutions company in Mumbai.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories