Cricket TV rights to be resolved next week

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The Indian government today said it is likely to receive a report on various issues emanating from its recently-ordered ‘must provide’ clause in the sports broadcasting sector by next week.

“The Information and Broadcasting Secretary has been meeting the broadcasters on the issue… and I expect the report by next Monday,” Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunshi, told reporters according to PTI.

Late last year, the government had ordered that private sports broadcasters/management companies have to share feed of matches involving Indian cricket team on Doordarshan’s terrestrial network. This was made mandatory as part of the revisions to the uplinking and downlinking policies, which also ordered all foreign broadcasters downlinking into India to have a registered office in the country, PTI says.

The I&B Ministry, along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, has been holding discussions with public broadcaster Prasar Bharati as well as private broadcasters like ESPN-Star Sports, Ten Sports and ZEE Sports to draw up a list of ‘sporting events of national importance’, feed of which has to be shared on Doordarshan’s terrestrial network.

About two meetings have already taken place to discuss the matter. While Prasar Bharati has demanded that apart from cricket, other sporting events like soccer and hockey world cups as well as tennis grand slams should be included in this, foreign sports broadcasters have opposed this.

Without speaking in detail on the matter, Dasmunsi just said that the government will “try to safeguard sports interest and public interest.”

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