Intervening in the slug—fest between Nimbus and Prasar Bharati over broadcasting rights of the ongoing India—England cricket series, the I&B Ministry has asked the BCCI to take immediate action to ensure that All India Radio gets the feed for live commentary of matches.

The All India Radio (AIR) has been unable to air live commentary as Nimbus, which is demanding 50 per cent of the ad revenues of AIR, refused to share the feed. “This action on the part of Nimbus appears to be an effort to arm twist Prasar Bharati,” the Ministry said in a letter to the BCCI.

The Ministry has to suggested the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) that “radio broadcast rights of sporting events should not be clubbed with TV broadcasting rights, and should be made available directly to AIR at a negotiated price as far as India is concerned“.

According to Nimbus Communications, AIR has refused to follow the 50:50 sharing of advertising revenues, which has been mandated by the Sports Broadcasting (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act.

AIR and Doordarshan come under Prasar Bharati.

However, according to the letter by the Ministry to BCCI, the provisions of the Sports Act apply only if the rights holder for TV telecast broadcast the match either on television, cable, DTH, or the radio broadcast right holder actually broadcasts the commentary over the respective medium in India.

“As regards to radio, no private broadcaster is allowed to carry the commentary of sporting events of national level in India...the provisions of Sports Act relating to sharing of the signal do not apply to radio coverage,” the letter said.

The provisions relating to revenue sharing therefore also do not apply in case of radio coverage, it added.

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