No unfair advantage for Prasar Bharati: Sarma

Published: Sunday, October 23, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Prasar Bharati today said it enjoyed "no unfair advantage" because the Government made it mandatory for private broadcasters to share exclusive feed of cricketing events with it and allayed apprehensions that it would devalue the rights.

"No, not at all," was the answer of Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma when asked whether the public broadcaster had an unfair advantage because of Thursday's decision of the Cabinet taken as part of revision of downlinking and uplinking guidelines.

He said the value of telecast rights for BCCI's four-year telecast was believed to have gone up in domestic bidding round from last time. "And this is one when both the private broadcasters, ESPN and Zee Sports, had agreed to share the feed with us. So how can one say that the rights are being devalued?".

Sarma also said Prasar Bharati only got the feed for terrestrial broadcast, while the private broadcasters still enjoyed exclusive status on satellite rights.

"That is where they operate and thus they should not have any cause for concern," he said.

Private broadcasters have been an unhappy lot after the recent government decision, though refusing to make any immediate comment. Most of them are looking into the finer aspects of the new policy before making any firm comment on the matter.

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