The I-League broadcast has been moved to Lex Sportel Vision-owned new channel 1 Sports amidst the dispute over the DSport rights. However, it might still take some time for the broadcast feed to reach smoothly to fans and other stake holders as the tug of war for the DSport ownership between the Lex Sportel Vision and Discovery Communications India has also disrupted the distribution network.
Discovery Communication, according to a source in Lex Sportel Vision, allegedly in a bid to take control of the DSport distribution system has started distributing its “unauthorised channel DSport SD” on the network.
The development has led to disruption in a smooth distribution of the I-League LIVE content, which the Lex Sportel Vision has now moved to a new channel 1Sports. However, most of the distribution networks, DTH and cable operators, had dedicated the existing reception equipment like IRD’s, PIRD’s, VC’s to DSport SD. Hence, 1 Sports as of now, claims the source, has access to only 30% to 40% of its total distribution network.
Lex Sportel Vision has also written to the DPOs (Cable, MSO, OTT and DTH operators) to refrain from using the DSport equipment for DSport SD reception and distribution and instead put 1 Sports on the same infrastructure.
“All reception equipment including IRD’s , PIRD’s , VC’s etc. are exclusive property of Lex Sportel and were provided to DCI (Discovery Communications) who as distributor was in turn responsible to place the same at DPO headends. DCI (Discovery) was required only to act on our directions on assets owned by us and has no rights title or interest in our property,” states the letter.
Lex Sports Vision, InsideSport.co has learnt, has also moved an application in the Delhi High Court for an early hearing in its dispute Discovery Communications India. The matter as of now has been listed for March.
“This channel “DSport SD” has no downlinking license from MIB. It has been uplinked by DCI (Discovery Communications India) affiliate Discovery Network Asia Pacific only starting 01.10.2019 and has no connection with Lex Sportel’s channel ‘DSport’,” states the letter further.
“For India we have commenced providing the entire programming feed of DSport under the name 1Sports which is available to all operators using the same reception equipment owned by Lex Sportel and placed with DPO’s.”
I-League fans, players and clubs are left a dejected lot in the absence of adequate and regular LIVE broadcast of
Meanwhile, Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj has slammed the All India Football Federation for inadequate coverage of the I-League matches, saying he felt “appalled and cheated” by the false promises made by the governing body for the sport, adds PTI.
“I feel appalled & cheated that AGAIN we clubs have been badly let down by AIFF @ILeagueOfficial for coverage blackout even though they were scheduled – @IndianFootball DSports or instat or Reliance- who do we beg for coverage? False promises by all @eastbengalfc @Mohun_Bagan,” Bajaj has tweeted.
In December, 2018, AIFF had announced that the broadcasters are cutting down on TV coverage of the I-League. Then last November, the AIFF roped in DSport as Hero I-League broadcasters for three years but even then the overall standard of telecast of I-League matches have been sub-standard.
The match between Gokulam Kerala FC and Neroca FC on November 30 last year was not shown “due to technical reasons”, while live feed went blank during a game between East Bengal and Real Kashmir FC in Kalyani.