Dish TV goes against Star TV acquiring IPL rights

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With the Indian Premier League rights being announced on Monday, DTH provider, Dish TV has told the BCCI and government, not to grant Star TV the rights. Star TV, Sony Pictures Networks and Discovery are said to be the front-runners to grab the IPL rights from 2018 onwards.

Dish TV argues that Star TV, which already has rights to many cricket events, will have a monopoly in the sports broadcasting market.

A letter to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, Committee of Administrators head Vinod Rai, Competition Commission of India and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Dish TV’s chairman and managing director Jawahar Goel expressed concern that if Star TV won the IPL rights, “the cost for the consumers is likely to increase manifold because of the creation of ‘sole supplier’ monopoly in the market.”

Goel added, “Star is aiming to acquire the IPL cricket telecast rights also and thereby attain the status of ‘sole holder’ of the telecast rights of all the major cricketing events… The history of the media industry is witness to the fact that all the actions initiated by STAR till date have always been to economically concentrate the power through acquisition of cricket broadcast rights and thereby create a monopoly in the market to gain huge commercial advantage at the expense of the consumers and the distribution industry.”

He said, ”In order to serve its long term objective of charging the exorbitant price for its sports channels containing cricketing content, STAR has challenged the authority/jurisdiction of TRAI itself to fix the price of TV channels and the matter is pending before the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Madras.” Goel argues that in the eventuality of STAR acquiring the telecast rights of the IPL, the broadcaster will not only compel the distributors of TV channels, such as the DTH operators, to pay exorbitant price for their channels but also force the consumers to shell more. “Such a situation would not only be anti-competitive but also anti-consumers.”

Star TV already holds the rights to India’s home series, domestic cricket, all ICC tournaments, Asia Cup and home series of England, Australia and Bangladesh.

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