The national importance sports events may soon be available to larger number of audience on free-to-air Prasar Bharati broadcast platforms, including radio and television.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has moved an amended legislation that will ensure that national importance sports events like international cricket, Olympics and Asian Games’ broadcast is not just restricted to the homes, which get DD network signals via terrestrial or direct to home networks. But, the homes which get Prasar Bharati (Doordarshan) channels on cable also get access free to the live broadcast.
The MIB, according to a Times of India report, has invited feedback on the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) (Amendment) Bill 2018. The legislation is proposed to iron out incompatibilities between existing laws that govern the distribution of sports broadcasting signals.
The amendment is proposed to ensure that sporting events of national importance reach out to larger audience on a free-to air basis. Presently only the houses which get television signals through terrestrial networks get free signals of the national importance sports events on DD Sports. The amendment will ensure that the signals are also made available to cable TV homes.
At present, the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007 — also called the Sports Act — says that all content rights owners, holder, television and radio broadcasting service providers must simultaneously share live broadcasting signals of sporting events of national importance with Prasar Bharati to enable them to retransmit the same through their terrestrial networks and direct-to-home networks.
However, the sports act limits the live feed received by Prasar Bharati to only be retransmitted through Doordarshan’s terrestrial and DTH networks and not for cable operators. As such, viewers who do not have DD Free dish or Doordarshan’s terrestrial network are either unable to watch the events, or sign up for services by paid sports channels.