Regulators

Govt mulls dilution in cricket content share norm

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NEW DELHI: The Indian government is exploring some dilution in the downlink and uplink norms that makes it mandatory for private broadcasters to share sports content with pubcaster Prasar Bharati.

According to a senior official in the information and broadcasting ministry, keeping in mind the Ten Sports case, the government might allow broadcasters to honour their business commitments agreed upon before the new media norms came into effect in November last.

Though the government official was not forthcoming on the issue, he did admit that the ministry is exploring how minor changes could be made in the uplink and downlink guidelines that will allow broadcasters to honour their previous commitment.

Ten Sports had moved the Supreme Court challenging the validity of government norms on mandatory content share, saying authorities could not force content share with Prasar Bharati for events that had been snapped up much before the law into existence.

Ten Sports had moved the Supreme Court challenging the validity of government norms on mandatory content share, saying authorities could not force content share with Prasar Bharati for events that had been snapped up much before the law into existence.

In an interim observation, the Supreme Court had agreed to a compromise formula between Ten and Prasar Bharati, on the eve of the India-Pakistan cricket tour, which envisaged DD airing live the five one-dayers on payment of Rs. 150 million. Additionally, DD has also agreed not to market the matches on its network during playing hours.

The government official said that such instances would keep cropping up unless some concessions were made. Without specifying any time frame for this dilution in norms, the official indicated it might come through soon.

Apart from Ten Sports, ESPN Star Sports has also moved the Delhi High Court challenging the content sharing norm. This case is still to be taken up by the court.

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