Sony to protect live IPL feed, raid illegal operators

Sony Pictures Network is out to catch errant cable TV operators who steal the live match feed of Indian Premier League. Armed with a Delhi High Court order and assisted by court-appointed local commissioners, Sony has formed teams to conduct raids at local cable operators and TV distributors to stop them from illegally beaming IPL matches, for which SPN holds all the rights.

Mr Rajesh Kaul, president distribution and sports business at SPN, has told Economic Times the Company has received John Doe order, or injunctions, passed by the a court of law against anonymous entity / entities. “Yes, we have received the court order; and we will be raiding cable operators found using our signal without legal contract,” Mr Kaul is stated as saying by an Economic Times report. Another person familiar with SPN’s plan said the company has formed different raiding teams for four zones of the company.

The court has ordered local commissioners to seize equipment used by the cable operators if they are engaged in unauthorized telecast of the live feed. Sony had approached the Delhi High Court to stop dozens of distributors and cable TV operators throughout India from illegally broadcasting IPL. Sony told the court that it “apprehends” 41 cable and distributors, and others unnamed might “infringe upon” its prerogative by beaming the matches live without its permission.

The Delhi High Court in its order on March 30 has said such cable operators and their agents and partners among others are “hereby restrained, until the next date of hearing, from broadcasting /re-broadcasting/transmitting/retransmitting or communicating to the public through any medium whatsoever including their subscribers, through cable TV network(s) or otherwise, the contents of coverage of Vivo IPL 2017 Cricket Tournament”.

Sony will broadcast the tenth edition of IPL from April 5 to May 22 on Sony Six, Sony HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD and Set Max channels. Sony had acquired the IPL broadcast rights in 2008 for a ten-year period for Rs 8,500 crore. The term ends with the ongoing season of IPL.