The Delhi High Court is today (Wednesday) hearing the dispute between sports content distribution company India Sports Flashes Pvt Ltd and Prasar Bharati over the audio feed rights for the ICC World Cup 2019.
Sports Flashes holds the exclusive audio (live commentary) rights of the ICC World Cup 2019 for India. The Prasar Bharati has been compelling him to sell the rights to the State-owned broadcaster. The media rights owner is however ready offer the content on the revenue share basis, allowing the State-owned radio network to run the Sports Flashes content and share the revenues as the case between Doordarshan and the broadcasters who own the video content of the sports of national interest.
However, Prasar Bharati has been insisting on buying the rights and create its own content.
The petition alleges that “they (Prasar Bharati) are by using their authority as a State entity, restricting the entry of other private companies to acquire the sub license for the same product by arm twisting the petitioner beforehand, so that later, the respondent themselves could further sub license the radio broadcast feed”.
The High Court had sought reply from Prasar Bharati. They had time till April 2 to file the reply which, according to the petitioner’s lawyer, has not been filed so far.
The ICC World Cup will start in England and Wales from May 30. Thus, an early verdict in the case is crucial for both the parties.
Sports Flashes Lawyer Rajneesh Chopra has told national daily Times of India that they will plead to the court to pass an order if Prasar Bharati does not submit its reply. “We would be pressing hard to get the final outcome because the World Cup is near. We would be telling and appealing the Honorable court that this is a matter of great urgency and even of public importance. In case the matter is not settled in time we will not be able to share the feed with Prasar Bharati and in return there will be financial loss and there will be loss of game as nobody will be able to hear the commentary on radio anymore. Certainly the entire World Cup will not be on radio,” Chopra is quoted as saying.