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Mandatory sharing of sports broadcast with Prasar Bharti: Madras HC leaves it to government

The Madras High Court, in a judgment, has left it to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to decide whether live sports broadcast should be shared with national broadcaster Prasar Bharti for online streaming. At present, a law which enforces sharing of live sports broadcast feeds of national importance with Prasar Bharti limits it to terrestrial and DTH networks. This judgment has significant implications, especially for Disney-owned STAR India, which relies on live-streaming sports — especially cricket — for signing up users for its Hotstar platform. Cricket is so important for Hotstar that Disney moved up its Disney+ launch in India to March 29 to coincide with the IPL season. Adithya Modi, a "full time professional in the field of Sound Engineering and Music and is running a Home Theatre Consultancy firm", had petitioned the Madras High Court via a public interest litigation, asking for the law to be changed to enable mandatory sharing of sports events with Prasar Bharti for online streaming. What the government needs to consider when changing the policy: The court has said that the government will need to consider, among other things: "The procedural mechanism for dissemination of transmission that may be dependent on contracts and other statutory regulations governing transmissions. It is not only the transmission of the contents of an information but also the mode there of that can fall under the regulatory control of the State. This would therefore necessarily involve an exercise to consider…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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