Regulators

Star India wins: SC disallows Prasar from retransmitting shared sports feed live

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said that shared feed of sporting events can only be carried on the terrestrial network of Doordarshan or DD FreeDish. 

The judgement would help private broadcasters like Star India from possible losses in subscription and advertising revenues due to sharing of signals with Prasar Bharati which were eventually carried by private DTH and cable operators. Immediately after the judgment became known, DD and PB officials went into a huddle to study the ramifications. A DD official declined to comment.

In a significant judgment, a division bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that, though the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007, allows the feed of a sporting event of national importance to be shared mandatorily with Prasar Bharati, the public broadcaster cannot utilise it on a notified channel which has to be compulsorily carried by private distribution platforms. 

While the judgement enables Prasar Bharati to expropriate the feed, the private sports channels will not be competing against Prasar Bharati on a commercial basis for the same content. 

The judgment came on an appeal by the pubcaster against an order obtained by Star India from a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Justice B D Ahmed and Vibhu Bakhru.

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