Ten Sports, Doordarshan fail to reach Agreement

Published: Saturday, August 20, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Ten Sports, exclusive rights holder of live telecast of triangular cricket series in Sri Lanka, and Prasar Bharati have failed to reach an agreement making it impossible for millions of exclusive viewers of Doordarshan to watch tomorrow's final between India and Sri Lanka.

This was disclosed before the Supreme Court during the hearing of a petition filed by Ten Sports seeking transfer to apex Court of a PIL pending before the Kerala High Court for grant of telecast rights to DD for the benefit of millions of cricket lovers in India.

At the outset of the hearing, the counsel for both Prasar Bharati and Ten Sport told a Bench comprising Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice S B Sinha that the two broadcasters failed to finalise the agreement they were heading for.

Senior advocate Harish Salve and P H Parekh, appearing for Ten Sports, said a proposal was put forward to DD on July 29 and Prasar Bharati responded only on August 4, which was too late for them to accept.

Advocate R Sharma, appearing for Prasar Bharati, said a proposal was there that Ten Sport would provide to DD, live feed of the finals of the tri-series on the condition that the national broadcaster would carry their advertisement without the logo of the private broadcaster.

He said in lieu of which the Ten Sports would pay Rs One Crore to Prasar Bharati.

However, they failed to finalise this agreement, counsel for both sides said.

The court on July 28 had restrained the High Court from hearing the PIL seeking a direction to Ten Sports to provide signal of the cricket series involving India, Sri Lanka and West Indies to Doordarshan free of cost.

However, the court had clarified that the stay of proceedings before the High Court would not come in the way of Ten Sports and Prasar Bharati entering into some arrangements for the telecast of the tri-series.

Ten Sports had pleaded that it was becoming increasingly difficult for it to be commercially viable as whenever any series involving India was on the cards and for which the Prasar Bharati did not bid at all, a PIL was filed in the High Courts seeking direction for sharing of the live feed.

The Sports channel had alleged that every time before the commencement of a cricket series involving India, a PIL is filed for direction for simulcast.

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