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Supreme Court stays Delhi HC order on World Cup telecast

The Supreme Court today stayed till next Tuesday the Delhi High Court order barring Prasar Bharati from sharing with cable operators live feed of 2015 Cricket World Cup. It also asked Star and ESPN to bring alternative proposals to solve the imbroglio on the telecast of the month-long series starting Sunday. The Attorney General will also be given an advance copy of the proposals.

The legal dispute over the telecast rights has been going on from 2007, the broadcasting companies, represented by P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal, complained. They are suffering heavy losses, after investing more than Rs 3,800 crore, counsel told the bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The order  was passed on the appeal of Prasar Bharti, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi. The high court had ruled that Prasar Bharati could air the feed it gets from the private sports broadcasters only on its terrestrial network, not on Doordarshan channels compulsorily carried by cable and DTH operators. The private sports broadcasters complain that they are losing heavily because the Doordarshan channels are free.

The High Court delivered its judgment on February 4 interpreting two laws in the field, namely, the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007 that mandates a broadcaster to compulsorily share signals of sporting events of national importance with Prasar Bharati and the Cable Television Networks Act which makes it compulsory for all cable operators to carry two Doordarshan channels.


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