New Delhi | In good news for lakhs of cricket lovers dependent on cable TV, the Supreme Court today gave a go-ahead to public broadcaster Doordarshan to continue sharing live feed of World Cup cricket matches with private cable operators. The apex court continued its stay on the Delhi High Court verdict that had allowed the plea of Star India Ltd, which holds the exclusive telecast rights of the Cricket World Cup, and had asked Prasar Bharati not to share the live feed of the matches with private cable operators.
The top court said the High Court order will remain suspended until further orders and posted the matter for final hearing in the month of July, much after the World Cup comes to an end. We are of the view that the interim order passed earlier to the effect that the impugned order dated February 4, 2015 of the High Court shall remain suspended should continue until further orders. We order accordingly, a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and Prafulla C Pant said. The court, in its interim order, fixed the appeal of Prasar Bharti against the High Court order for final hearing in the month of July.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre and Prasar Bharati, had told the court that it was mandatory for a private channel under the Sports Act and the Cable TV Network Act to share the feeds of matches of national importance with Prasar Bharati for providing it on DD’s free-to-air terrestrial channels.
Prasar Bharati had moved the Supreme Court challenging the February 4 Delhi High Court judgement which was passed on the plea of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), ESPN and Star. They had contended that cable operators were getting live feed free through DD channels, resulting in loss of revenue for them.
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