Prasar Bharati challenges channels in Court for unauthorized CWG telecast

Doordarshan, the official broadcaster of the games has filed an injunction suit in the court against the channels and the organizing committee of the games cautioning them against the violation of copyright act.

Prasar Bharati, the regulatory body of Doordarshan channels and All India Radio has sent a ‘Prohibition of Unauthorised Telecast of CWG 2010’ notice to these challenges reminding them about the exclusivity of the broadcasting rights of Commonwealth games.

The regulator has taken this preventive measure to ensure the non–repetition of trespassing in its broadcasting rights and interests as it was done by private channels during the Beijing Olympics in the year 2008.

Prasar Bharati says it hired TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd, the Mumbai-based television audience measurement agency, to track footage of the Olympics used by news channels and found some of the broadcasters used more than 17,000 seconds a day. The petition said Prasar Bharati is seeking damages of more than Rs. 5 crore from the two dozen-odd broadcasters.

Broadcasters say the terms of the CWG news access rules appear stringent. For instance, a three minute footage of the Games can be aired only once every three hours and not on more than three shows in a channel. The footage can be shown as part of a bulletin and no special programming on CWG can be created using it.

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