Mumbai, Feb 10: No better place to watch the Cricket World Cup than in the midst of some good cheer, friendly company, chilled beer, flaming tequilas and some munchables, right? Wrong! TV viewership for this quadrennial event might be the biggest in the history of the tournament, but pubs and restaurants in Mumbai most probably will not be showing live matches.
That's because the televising license fee is Rs 25,000 - too hard on the pockets of the owners.
With just nine days to go for the World Cup, hoteliers and restaurants across the city are yet to obtain the license to telecast these matches from Novex Communication, who is responsible for issuing licenses for the matches.
Novex has already sent out legal notices to several pubs and eateries asking them to seek the license which will be applicable throughout the year.
Speaking to a leading tabloid, Sudhakar Shetty, president of Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) who has more than 8,000 hotels, bars and restaurants under their umbrella across the city confirmed that many AHAR members had received notices from the company. "We are not going to pay them as we are already paying cable fees.
They are sending us legal notices. We have decided not to reply to them as they are extorting money from us. For the last two years we are fighting against this, we are not going to tolerate it."
It remains to be seen if other cities across India will also follow suit.