Delhi High Court restrains 92 cable operators from unauthorised telecast of World Cup

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Court granted stay to ESPN Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the Fifa World Cup, in favor of its application for a civil suit filed against 92 cable operators across the country for unauthorised broadcast of the Fifa World Cup restraining all the cable operators from showing Fifa through any other channel other than ESPN Star Sports.

The channel has an exclusive deal with Fifa to telecast all the matches of the Fifa World Cup in territory of India. After this order anyone still showing FIFA World Cup through any other channel will be held in contempt of court and liable for prosecution, says an official release.

Elaborating on this, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd AVP Affiliate Sales Rajesh Kaul says, "No other channel, whether pay, free to air or terrestrial is authorised to provide, show or distribute the Fifa World Cup Germany 2006 in the territory of India. Also carriage, reception or distribution of the Fifa World Cup Germany 2006 by any MSO, Cable Operator, Sub-Operator without written authorization from ESPN Star Sports is a violation of copyrights and hence an illegal activity. Strict and legal action will be taken against the operators who violate the court orders. Post the order; police raids have already been started."

The 92 cable operators restrained from the unauthorized telecast are from Tamil Nadu, Jharkand, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Tripura, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and Punjab, adds the release.

"The 92 cable operators across the country were broadcasting by means of wireless diffusion the services of free to air international channels like TV 5 Cambodia TV, CC5 Channel, CCTV1, Super Sports, Multi-choice and Dream Satellite, thereby infringing the copyright of ESPN Star Sports. Today after an application in the Delhi High Court, the judge has restrained these operators from carrying and distributing the World Cup by any means whatsoever, without authorized permission from ESPN Star Sports. Operators showing the Fifa World Cup through other channels should stop this to avoid legal court action," adds Kaul.

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