Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- SC orders Ten Sports to share signals with DD

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 18:30 [IST]
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New Delhi:India's Supreme Court has directed private television network Ten Sports to share the telecast of the rest of India's cricket tour of Pakistan with a public broadcaster.

The order ends a tense standoff during which Dubai-based Ten Sports said it was not obliged to share its feed with state broadcaster Doordarshan because it had paid a massive sum for the exclusive rights to the series during global bidding in 2002.

The court had earlier ordered Ten Sports to give Doordarshan a feed last Saturday for the first match, in Karachi, of the series of five One-day matches and three Tests, India's first full tour of Pakistan in almost 15 years.

The court made a similar order for Tuesday's second One-day match in Rawalpindi. The satellite channel complied on both days but complained that Doordarshan had reneged on an agreement to carry the Ten Sports logo during the first telecast.

In its order on Wednesday, which applies to the remaining three One-day matches as well as the three Tests, the Supreme Court said Doordarshan must deposit 500 million rupees (11 million dollars) in a court trust to offset any claims that may arise between the public broadcaster and Ten Sports.

A final hearing on the matter is set for April 15, two days before the cricket tour ends.

Doordarshan was also directed to display the logo of Ten Sports along with the satellite channel's advertisements during the telecast, which should begin 30 minutes before each game and continue for 30 minutes after it ends.

The state-run channel, which through its free-to-air terrestrial relays reaches more than 80 percent of India's 105 million homes with televisions, was also directed to limit the telecast to within the country.

The court also ordered the public broadcaster to explain why it had failed to carry the Ten Sports logo while telecasting the first match. India last played Tests in Pakistan in 1989 and only made a short tour of three One-dayers in 1997.

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