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Home > Business > Message Board


Cricket telecast row: Who is to blame?


January 23, 2007

India, it would seem, is run by the courts. Be it curbing vehicular pollution, checking unauthorized construction, or watching a cricket match on the TV, it's the courts that bring solace to the common man, when politicians, confused administrators and corporates have made a mess of things.

Take the Nimbus-Prasar Bharti slugfest that led to millions of cricket lovers missing the first India-West Indies ODI at Nagpur on January 21. The battle worsened when the public broadcaster Prasar Bharti refused to accept any of Nimbus's preconditions for sharing its feed with DD. Nimbus is the company that has bought the telecast rights to all cricket matches played in India from the Board for Control of Cricket in India for $612 million (Rs 2,700 crore) for four years.

Prasar Bharti and India's I&B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi say that Nimbus must share its feed with DD. Nimbus says this will hurt its business interests. The minister terms this 'unpatriotic.' Nimbus says DD can take the feed, but must encrypt the signal so as to prevent piracy, and moves court.

The Delhi high court on Tuesday directed public broadcaster Prasar Bharti to show live telecast of India-West Indies cricket series on Doordarshan, but deferred by seven minutes from that being shown on rights holder Nimbus.

So now you can watch Wednesday's India-Windies ODI. But larger questions still remain:

  • Why don't the interested parties solve this problem before the tournament actually begins?
  • Who is to blame for the mess? The government or Nimbus or the BCCI?
  • Is the government, which says it is working in public interest, really doing so or it too wants to make money from the golden goose called cricket?
  • Is the company Nimbus wrong in opposing Prasar Bharti's view? Should it share its feed with DD even though it might make losses?
  • Do you think you will get to watch the World Cup matches?

Tell us what you think. Even what you hope.





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