Cricket Fans Can Now See India-Centric World Cup Matches

20/02/2015 11:59 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Indian cricket fans, face painted with colors of the Indian flag react to the camera after India won the World Cup Pool B match against Pakistan in Adelaide, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/James Elsby)

New Delhi: The cricket fans across the country will get to see all the India-centric ongoing World Cup matches on their cable network as the Supreme Court Friday stayed Delhi High Court order restraining Doordarshan from carrying live feed of matches provided to it by the Star TV on a private cable network.

The apex court bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi in a brief order "refused to cause any modification and stay of the high court till further orders".

The court order came on an appeal by the centre and national broadcaster Prasar Bharati challenging Feb 4 verdict of the high court.

National broadcaster Prasar Bharti Thursday told the Supreme Court that it was not "feasible" for it to set up a separate channel to telecast the live feed of India centric world cup cricket matches being provided to it by Star TV.

It expressed its stand to the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Prafulla C. Pant as the court reserved its order on the plea by the central government and Prasar Bharti challenging the Feb 4 Delhi High Court order barring Doordarshan from sharing the live feed of the Cup matches with cable operators.

The high court order came 10 days before the World Cup cricket matches being jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand began Feb 14.

Appearing for Prasar Bharti, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the national broadcaster was reaching the people across the length and breadth of the county through 1,400 transmitters which were mostly unmanned, thus it was not feasible to set up a new channel to telecast world cup cricket matches in a short duration.

His contention came in response to a suggestion given by Star TV in the course of the last hearing of the matter.

Rejecting the idea of a new separate channel, Rohatgi told the court: "Why should the people suffer. Everybody should get the opportunity to watch the matches."

Offering technical assistance for set-up type new channel, senior counsel P.Chidambram told that in a similar situation during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Prasar Bharti had set up a new channel in six days time and wondered why it could not do it again.

Pointing out Doordarshan routing its live feed of world cup matches would cost Star TV a loss of Rs. 290 crores, Chidambram told that that this was a dis-incentive for an investor who looks for returns on his investments. He said that private cable operators were being benefitted for no reasons at their expense.

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