Television

Prasar Bharati survey to gauge demand for sporting events coverage soon

The pubcaster may ink deal with BCCI for home cricket rights on radio

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MUMBAI: Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati has revealed that a survey will soon be conducted to assess the demand for sports coverage on the public broadcaster’s platforms like Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR). Vempati, however, pointed out that sports coverage by a public broadcaster is determined by factors like rights and monetisation opportunities.

“Coverage of sports by the public broadcaster within its limited means depends on several factors including but not limited to availability of rights, monetisation potential etc. We will be conducting survey shortly to assess demand,” he said.

The ongoing Indian Premier League is being covered by the BBC for its radio listeners. Not only is AIR not covering the IPL, but it also hasn’t been associated with a bilateral cricket series in India since 2014. Responding to a question on the same, Vempati pointed a finger at the Indian board.

“At this time there is no proposal from BCCI regarding IPL on radio. Question best answered by BCCI on why IPL radio rights have not been offered in India while internationally they have been made available,” he remarked.

However, Vempati was optimistic about agreeing to a deal with the Indian cricket board ahead of the next bilateral series at home.

“As far as bilateral series in India goes, coverage on radio will commence once BCCI and All India Radio finalise MoU on the same. I am optimistic we will be able to narrow the gaps soon and before the next bilateral series happens in India” he said.

Last year, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) proposed to amend rules relating to mandatory sharing of feeds of sports of national importance with not only the pubcaster but with other distribution platforms. Reason for proposed changes: people with less purchasing power should not lose out on sporting excitement.

The MIB said in a notice issued on 17 October 2018, adding that public comments were invited within a month (later extended) on the changes proposed in the relevant regulation relating to sharing by rights-holding private TV channels of broadcasting feed with the pubcaster.

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