Television

DD to telecast India-Pak ODI matches

NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: Indian pubcaster Doordarshan will air the one-day cricket matches between India and Pakistan, but will not be able to market the matches being telecast over its terrestrial network.

Apart from paying Ten Sports, the exclusive rights holder of Pakistan cricket, a sum of Rs 150 million, DD will also have to ensure that the signals of its terrestrial channels beaming simultaneously through satellites should not spill over to the neighbouring countries.

This follows an agreement reached between Ten Sports and Prasar Bharati before the Supreme Court, according to a Press Trust of India report. Prasar Bharati manages DD and All India Radio.

A division Bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhan and Tarun Chatterjee directed Prasar Bharati to deposit with the court a sum of Rs 150 million by 9 February, which Ten Sports shall receive as full and final settlement for sharing an "uninterrupted feed" of the five one-dayers beginning from 6 February at Peshawar.

As per the agreement, Doordarshan shall not run any advertisement during their terrestrial transmission and must reduce the power of their satellite so that the signal does not spill over to neighbouring countries.

Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma said the public broadcaster would implement it.

"We will obey the order of the honourable Supreme Court and deposit the money. We will get a feed for all the five one-day internationals without running our own advertisements," PTI quoted him as saying after the court had made its observations.

Indiantelevision.com spoke to an industry expert on the technicalities involved in controlling signal spillover and this is what he had to say: "Basically there are certain signals that Doordarshan technically use to deliver their terrestrial signal to, particularly in the North-East of India. These are very powerful signals (because they have to go a long way!) As a result - they are also available in the other territories. You can “power down” the signals - make them weaker - so the picture quality is poorer and not available over such a wide geographical area. The real answer though is to encrypt the signals and then de-crypt them at the local terrestrial transmitter masts."

The court also transferred a petition pending in the Bombay High Court in this regard and said all the matters relating to the dispute shall be heard by a three-judge Bench of the apex court.

In a petition, Taj Television Ltd, owner of Ten Sports, had sought a stay of the government guidelines, which make it mandatory for the sports channels to share feed of sporting events of national importance with Prasar Bharati.

Ten Sports has termed the guideline as arbitrary without the authority of the law. The guidelines state that sports channels will share their feed with Prasar Bharati for "national and international sporting events of national importance" in India or abroad.

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