Millions of cricket lovers in the country may get to see India’s first World Cup match against traditional rivals Pakistan Feb 15 free of cost as the Supreme Court Tuesday stayed the Delhi High Court order that barred public broadcaster Doordarshan from sharing the live feed of the cricket match with cable operators.
Doordarshan will be provided the live feed of the matches by Star Sports which holds exclusive telecasting rights for the World Cup, starting Feb 14. Doordarshan in turn provides that live feed to cable operators.
The Delhi High Court last week had barred Doordarshan from sharing the live feed of World Cup matches. The order was passed on a plea of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Star Sports who had contended that cable TV operators were getting live feed through DD channels free of cost, resulting in loss of revenue for them.
The apex court bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said the Delhi High Court judgment will remain stayed till the next hearing Feb 17 when it will take up the matter to pass interim orders.
Senior counsel P. Chidambaram, appearing for Star TV, told the court that after seven long years the high court passed an order in his client’s favour and expected the balance of equity to remain in their favour so that the cricket matches are not aired on television freely.
He said his client has several proposals for consideration by the court. The Delhi Court had barred Doordarshan from sharing the World Cup live feed with cable operators, but declined the plea to quash Prasar Bharti’s 2000 notification making it mandatory for cable operators to carry DD National and DD News channels.