Special Correspondent

Lok Sabha passes Bill; it goes to Rajya Sabha today

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Thursday unanimously passed the Sports Broadcasting Signals Bill, 2007, which makes it mandatory for private broadcasters to share live feed of national events with Doordarshan and All India Radio on a free-to-air basis. The Bill will go to the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

There was no alternative to bringing in the ordinance and now the Bill to replace it, for enabling cricket lovers to watch the World Cup starting on March 11, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said.

The Sports Broadcasting Signals (mandatory sharing with Prasar Bharati) Ordinance, 2007 was promulgated last month after Nimbus Communications, which holds telecast rights for all international cricket matches being played in India till 2010, refused to share signals with Prasar Bharati.

Wishes team well

Wishing the Indian cricket team success in the World Cup events, Mr. Dasmunsi clarified that the Bill was intended not for a particular game but to promote all sports, though the entire debate seemed to revolve round cricket.

Though India generated 70 per cent of the advertising revenue from international cricket, Indians could not even watch matches involving their national team.

Australia and the United Kingdom, which contribute only 5-10 per cent of the total advertising revenue from international cricket, had much more stringent laws on telecast of matches, he said.

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