State-owned broadcaster Prasar Bharti is believed to have issued a show cause notice to private news channels for 'unauthorised' usage of its Olympic footage while asking them to pay for the same.
Sources in the know of the development said that, in a strongly-worded letter, Prasar Bharti asked news channels to either stop using its Olympics footage or pay for it.
Official sources said Doordarshan has sole rights for telecast of the ongoing Olympics Games and private channels must take permission and enter into an agreement for use the footage on payment.
Some private news broadcasters confirmed having received the letter from Prasar Bharti but said they will respond through the News Broadcasters' Association.
Top officials of leading news channels, including NDTV, CNN IBN, Zee News and India TV, declined to comment individually.
NBA secretary-general Annie Joseph said, "This is an administrative issue and we would not like to go through the media."
In 2006 Doordarshan had made it mandatory for private TV channels to share with it live feed of all official One-Day Internationals, Twenty20 matches and some Tests of public interest abroad.
The private channels had at that time protested against the directive saying they had shelled out huge amounts to bag the telecast rights of those matches and giving it free to DD would dent their earnings.