DD to air only Indo-Pak Test highlights

NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: Give it as Round One to Ten Sports. Disappointing millions of non-cable TV viewers and radio listeners in India, Indian pubcaster Prasar Bharati will only show the highlights of the India-Pakistan Test series, which gets under way from 13 January.

The reason being that national broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR) have been unable to hammer out mutually agreeable commercial terms with TV and radio rights holders of Pakistan Cricket, Ten Sports and ARY Digital, respectively, for live telecast of the India-Pakistan Test series.

Interestingly, the Indian government today submitted before the Supreme Court that for the three Tests against Pakistan, it would not force Ten Sports to abide by the downlinking guidelines, which makes it compulsory for all channels to share with Prasar Bharati their feed of cricket matches featuring India, among other listed sports. This law also covers events where telecast deals had been signed earlier.

This could well point to a compromise solution that will apply to all forthcoming cricket series wherein Test matches may be excluded from the broadcasting legislation.

In the Supreme Court today, Prasar Bharati expressed its unwillingness to carry Ten Sports live signals along with its logo and advertisements, while paying compensation of Rs 250 million to the Dubai-headquartered sports broadcaster. Reason: it did not make business sense for DD.

The issue of Rs 250 million compensation is linked to Ten Sports' petition before the Supreme Court which claimed that sharing of live telecast with DD would result in a loss of Rs 200 million. In response to this GE Vahanvati, the solicitor general, had offered Rs 250 million as compensation for the loss incurred.

However, Ten Sports counsel responded by saying that this arrangement was agreeable only if DD did not add its own advertisements to the live feed. This was not acceptable to DD.

In an interim arrangement, DD has agreed to carry 90 minute highlights. DD will get the highlights feed free of cost from Ten Sports.

Ten Sports, the exclusive rights holder for Pakistan cricket, had challenged in the Supreme Court a government diktat making it mandatory for all rights holders of sporting events of national importance to share them with DD.

According to Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma, "The matter is still sub-judice, but in the interest of millions of cricket fans in India who don't have access to cable TV such issues should be sorted out as soon as possible."

On last count, TV homes in India totaled slightly over 100 million, of which approximately 60 million (NRS figures) have access to cable TV.

Earlier in the day, just after an interim arrangement on highlights was made in the SC, DD director general Navin Kumar told, "We submitted to the court that we are ready to share the revenue (25:75 in favour of the rights holder) with Ten Sports as per downlinking guidelines. Other demands are like Ten Sports' wish list."

The next hearing of the case is scheduled for 30 January. DD is hopeful that by the time the Test matches come to an end early February and it's time for the ODIs to begin, some sort of firm direction will come from the courts.

That a directive can be expected is also indicated by the apex court's urging the counsels of both Prasar Bharati and Ten Sports to see if it might be possible to reach an agreement so that at least the ODI matches could be telecast live on DD and Ten.

When queried about the matter of ODIs, Ten Sports officials only offered this comment: "We are in discussions with the government and hope to arrive at a workable solution soon."


It is not just DD that will have to do without the cricket feed. An estimated 400 million radio listeners in the country will miss out on All India Radio's cricket broadcast because AIR is unwilling to cough up the $200,000 that Dubai-based ARY Digital, which holds the radio rights to these matches, is demanding from the national radio broadcaster.

AIR's "last and final offer" is $80,000. A Prasar Bharati official said today, "At the moment, it looks highly unlikely that we'd get radio rights for live commentary."

The Hindu Businessline, in a report filed 8 January, had quoted a senior Prasar Bharati official as saying: "We had paid $40,000 last year for the radio rights to the same number of Test matches and ODIs. But this time, we have offered to pay $80,000.

"This is in line with the Commonwealth Games where we have offered to pay $400,000 for telecast rights of the forthcoming event in Melbourne, double of what was paid for the Games held in Manchester."

There is a counter-argument to this though. Which is, as some media planners aver, that AIR stands to garner an estimated $1 million if it does get the radio rights.

ESPN Star Sports, which has also moved the Delhi High Court against downlinking norms and mandatory content sharing, will be closely monitoring the outcome of the latest Ten-DD face-off.

Also read:

SC to Prasar Bharati: File replies to Ten plea

Latest Reads
US$ 4.5 bn expected from IPL rights; SC recommends accounts scrutiny

The Supreme Court on Friday froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex body not to disburse any funds till it resolves to abide by the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations on reforms by 3 December . The top court ordered that none of...

Television TV Channels Sports
TVS Tyres is co-presenter for Asian Champions Trophy 2016

Continuing its strong connect with sports, TVS Tyres has associated with Asian Champions Trophy 2016 by becoming the co-presenter. The Asian Champions Trophy is one of the premier hockey tournaments, a much sought after annual international competition promising some great hockey action. This...

Television TV Channels Sports
Q2-17: Zee Learn declares maiden interim dividend

The board of directors of the Essel group’s education company Zee Learn Limited (ZLL) have declared a first time ever dividend of 5 percent per equity share of Re 1 each for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter).

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Whether BARC action can stop unethical practices?

Whether businesses and industries practice their art of selling fairly although they have 'Fair Practices' training during the academic courses, workshops and several ISO and other certifications? There seems to be the fear of the lawman, and not the law in India.

Television TV Channels Viewership
TV Superhighway: beIN, Yaddo, AfricaXP have joined us, says Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal

CANNES; Magine has secured partnerships with four of the industry’s most exciting sports, documentary and entertainment content providers. Partnerships with beIN, the international media group and owner of MIRAMAX; Yaddo, the new documentary streaming service headed up by former head of The BBC’s...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
Colors emerges strong on strength of Naagin I & II

MUMBAI: One of the top rated shows Naagin Season 2 helped Colors reach a top-ranking position.

Television TV Channels GECs
Pakistan Broadcasters Association to oppose PEMRA Indian content ban

MUMBAI: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) shocked both Pakistan and Indian broadcasters when it issued an order blanking out  all Indian content from Pakistan’s television channels on 19 October.

Television TV Channels GECs
Sony Pix to telecast 'Jurassic World' on 22 October

Sony Pix will take the viewers on a thrilling, adventurous journey with cloned dinosaurs in their Billion Dollar Premiere property. The channel plans to air Jurassic World on 22 October at 1 pm and 9 pm.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Sony AXN scripts deal with Pinewood; buys stake in SVOD service Hopster

Folks at Sony Pictures Television (SPT) are in a celebratory mood. Not only has it signed a six-series deal with Pinewood Television but has also acquired a minority stake in the London-based video subscription service for kids content - Hopster.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories