Union Govt to sue Nimbus for violating ordinance

Published: Saturday, February 10, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

New Delhi:The threat of action continued to loom large over Nimbus Communications, the BCCI rights holder, for delaying feeds of India-Sri Lanka Kolkata one day international against provisions of an ordinance promulgated last week.

The Delhi High Court, which had been approached by the broadcaster to stay the operation of the Ordinance, refused to do so.

While denying reports that a notice has been served on Nimbus, Joint Secretray Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Baijendra Kumar told UNI that the broadcaster had violated the ordinance for which action against it can be taken.

On the other hand, Nimbus on Saturday maintained it would continue to give delayed feeds of the India-Sri Lanka cricket series as per an interim order of the Delhi High Court.

Thus homes without cable TV would not be able to see Sunday's ODI at Nagpur.

Meanwhile, the Company which also owns the Neo Sports channel telecasting the series, today challenged the Ordinance promulgated last week making it mandatory for private broadcasters to share live feeds of important sports events with public broadcaster Prasar Bharati.

''We have done nothing unlawful and are just following the court order by delaying the feeds,'' a Nimbus spokesperson told UNI over phone from Mumbai.

She parried a question about the Information and Broadcasting Ministry's contention that they had committed violation of the Ordinance by delaying the Kolkata ODI feeds to Prasar Bharati.

Under the ordinance, Nimbus can be slapped a fine of Rs one Crore or may even be banned.

However, we will not taken any action without giving a reasonable opportunity to the broadcaster to explain its conduct, Mr Kumar said.

In an interim order on Jan 23, the High Court had allowed Prasar Bharati to download the feed of Nimbus Communications and telecast the India-West Indies ODI series in a delayed transmission of seven minutes on Doordarshan(DD) and broadcast commentary live on the All India Radio(AIR).

The matter had reached the court after Nimbus refused to share live sports feed with Prasar Bharati, but was directed by the government to do so in accordance with down linking guidelines of 2005.

These guidelines make it compulsory for sports telecast rights holding channels to share the live feed of important sporting events with Doordarshan and AIR by entering into a commercial agreement.

The terms provide for revenue sharing of 75:25 in favour of the rights holders.

The ordinance was brought in after the recent India-West Indies cricket series kicked off without Doordarshan and All India Radio broadcasting the event.

Just a day before the cricket series was to begin on January 21, the talks between Prasar Bharati and Nimbus Sports, the BCCI holder broke down on sharing the live feed.

The offer of Nimbus Sports to give the feed to the Prasar Bharati with 15 minutes delay was not acceptable to the public broadcaster.

Nimbus also did not agree to DD showing the matches on its DTH platform DD Direct Plus.

Nimbus had also said that if it shared the feed, the signals would have to be encrypted so that it reaches houses only on the terrestrial network and not to those who get DD signals through cable TV.

However, Nimbus provided signals of the remaining matches of the India-West Indies series with seven minutes delay after a court's intervention.

Terming the Nimbus action as unlawful and unpatriotic, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi had declared to bring in a law to avoid such a situation in future.


Write Comments