New Delhi: In a bonanza for the cricket-lovers, the Narendra Modi government is contemplating to bring a regulation to allow mandatory telecast of Indian cricket matches on Doordarshan channels available to dish or DTH subscribers.
The move will help DTH viewers avoid subscribing to expensive sports channel bouquets for enjoying the matches. At present, Doordarshan channels that telecast matches are blacked out by DTH operators, forcing viewers to subscribe sports pay channels.
Top officials of the Union information and broadcasting ministry are understood to be studying a proposal for mandatory telecast of Indian cricket matches on Doordarshan channel available to DTH subscribers.
Currently, free telecast of cricket matches of national importance on Doordarshan is available only to those viewers who use its terrestrial network — that uses conventional antennas and requires no monthly subscription as in the case of DTH.
Sources stated that the I&B ministry has sought the opinion of the law and justice ministry regarding the issue mandatory telecast of matches on DD channels available to DTH subscribers.
It is learnt that the move to bring in the new broadcast regulations to ease telecast of cricket matches comes after last year’s Supreme Court decision that Prasar Bharati can air the feed from private broadcasters, only on terrestrial network and Free Dish but not on Doordarshan channels carried by cable operators and private DTH platforms.
Under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007, private broadcasters are obliged to share live broadcasting signals of sporting events of national importance with Prasar Bharati. Section 8 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act makes it mandatory for all cable operators to carry two Doordarshan channels but there is no binding that the DD channel showing cricket matches has to be shown.
The proposed changes would mean that cable operators can get access to the broadcast of sporting events through two avenues, through private channels, by paying subscription fees, and via the channels of Doordarshan.