Legal Correspondent

Supreme Court asks Prasar Bharati to pay Rs. 15 crore in full and final settlement

Doordarshan will transmit ads alsoEnsure that signals do not spill over into neighbouring countries: Bench

New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Monday directed Ten Sports to share with Doordarshan its feed for live telecast of five India-Pakistan one-day international cricket matches next month. It directed Prasar Bharati to deposit before February 9 Rs. 15 crore to compensate the loss likely to be incurred by Ten Sports for 'simulcast' of the ODIs.

Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati told a Bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhan and Tarun Chatterjee that Prasar Bharati had come to an agreement with Ten Sports for the telecast of the ODIs as about 400 million people in the country could not watch the Test matches being played now. Doordarshan was willing to share the feed including advertisements without any alteration.

The Bench was hearing a special leave petition filed by Taj Television (India), owner of Ten Sports, against the order of the Bombay High Court, which admitted its petition challenging the revised guidelines on telecast of national events but refused to grant interim relief.

No other claim

Counsel for Ten Sports P.H. Parekh said the channel had no objection to sharing the live feed on Prasar Bharati paying Rs. 15 crore. It would not lay any other claim.

In the light of this agreement, the Bench directed Ten Sports to receive Rs. 15 crore in full and final settlement for sharing an uninterrupted feed of the ODIs beginning at Peshawar on February 6.

Prasar Bharati should use the signals only for terrestrial transmission and reduce the power of its satellite so that the signals would not spill over into the neighbouring countries or West Asia.

Petition transferred

The Bench ordered transfer of the petition pending in the High Court to the apex court and posted it before a three-judge Bench, already hearing a similar petition filed by Ten Sports in 2004.

More In: Today's Paper