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Prasar CEO reiterates implementation of SC verdict on DD's shared sports feed retransmission

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NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati has directed all private direct-to-home and cable operators not to telecast the sporting events' live feed from Doordarshan that have originally been shared by rights-holding private broadcasters.

This was conveyed through a tweet by Vempati. Interestingly, some tweets in response vowed to switch over from private DTH to FreeDish.

This follows orders of the Supreme Court on 22 August 2017 which stated that shared feed of sporting events can only be carried on the terrestrial network of Doordarshan or DD FreeDish, and not retransmitted.

In the judgment, a division bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said 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 judgment 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 Pvt. Ltd. from a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Justice B D Ahmed and Vibhu Bakhru.

The judgment 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.

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