Clearing the way for a ‘clean’ telecast of Champions Trophy matches on Doordarshan, the Delhi High Court, in an interim order, has directed ESPN to provide ‘live signals without any commercials whatsoever’ to DD.
The order comes in the wake of ESPN’s proposal to telecast matches with advertisements that were ‘embedded’ by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
ESPN had told the court that it was not inserting any commercials of its own, but merely those of the organiser, ICC, and it was beyond its capacity to omit such obligatory punctuations.
Prasar Bharati had claimed that according to the Sports Broadcasting Act 1961, DD can only telecast ‘clean feed’ and it was incumbent on the rights holder to provide this according to the Sports Act of 2007.
Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the matter, the court said live signals should be provided to the public broadcaster without any commercials — be it of the ‘petitioner (ESPN), ICC, or any other entity.’ Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said DD would telecast matches “without any advertisements at all” and show matches “without interruption.”