The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has been considering to bring in a major paradigm shift in the dynamics for the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) broadcasting run as it brings it under the ambit of national importance. Under the developing scheme of things, the IPL economics can be highly impacted as Star India may have to share the broadcasting rights of IPL with Doordarshan. This movement can have a wider impact on the Star India with severe ramifications as the broadcasting of IPL feeds will shift from a private channel to public broadcasting domain.

Under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007, MIB has listed many sports but because of its club based format, IPL was not considered to be broadcasted at a national level by MIB like Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, summer and Special Olympics, Paralympics, along with certain cricket, football, hockey and tennis events.

Various sports events have been listed by the MIB for broadcast on DD, for instance, all official One-Day and Twenty-20 matches played by the Indian Men’s Cricket Team, the semi-finals and finals of Men’s World Cup and International Cricket Council Championship Trophy are part of the events that have to be shared with DD. The same applies in Hockey for the finals, semi-finals and matches featuring India. For football, the World Cup, Asia Cup and Santosh Trophy are considered important events to be showed on DD.

This move is set to cause deep financial impact on the IPL economics vis Star India’ monopoly as the ad revenues will also be altered as also it will impact the channel which has paid a grand sum of Rs 16,347.5 crore for five years till 2022 for the IPL rights. Sharing of live feed with cable operators had costed Star India a big subscription loss earlier.

In a recent Supreme Court order, the sports events broadcasted by DD, under the Sports Act now cannot be transmitted on the private cable, DTH, HITS, and IPTV platforms, multiplying the possibility of piracy. With this SC order, DD has also taken measures to prevent adversities as it has directed private DTH and cable TV to block DD National when the events of national importance are being aired. The matches will only be transmitted DD’s terrestrial and free DTH platform Freedish.

The MIB has also asked the Sports ministry to consider the proposal. Should there be any legal hassles, the Central Government has the rights to take the call with measures deemed fit for the situation. – Adgully