The government is pushing to make the broadcast of next season’s IPL (Indian Premier League) available on state-run broadcaster Doordarshan as well, in addition to Star Sports who will broadcast the tournament from 2018.
The information and broadcasting ministry is currently working on a proposal to make the IPL available on Doordarshan, with it having asked the sports ministry to address the matter. This was mentioned in a report by Live Mint, which also said this was confirmed by three people in the know, on the condition of anonymity. So far, no orders have been passed on the proposal.
If successful, this move will mean that Star India will have to share the live feed of the tournament with the nation’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, as per the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007. Doordarshan and All India Radio are run by Prasar Bharati.
Star India, in September, won the television, digital, Indian and global media rights to IPL for the next five seasons, paying Rs16,347.50 crore. Until 2017, Sony Pictures Networks held the television broadcasting rights of IPL for 10 years (since 2008).
“A proposal has been moved to make IPL a sporting event of national importance so that it can reach a wider audience through Doordarshan. The I&B ministry had recently asked the sports ministry to look into the proposal. No orders have been passed yet,” said one of the three people cited in the report by Live Mint
According to the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007 (and a 2012 notification), all private broadcasters are required to share live broadcasting signals of sporting events of “national importance” with Prasar Bharati simultaneously, to enable the public broadcaster to re-transmit them on its terrestrial networks and direct-to-home (DTH) networks. However, in a recent verdict, the Supreme Court said Prasar Bharati cannot share the feed it gets from rights owners such as Star on Doordarshan channels that are carried by cable operators and private DTH platforms. For the sports feed that the public broadcaster gets from private channels, it is also entitled to 25% of the total TV advertising revenue realized by them while the remaining 75% remains with the broadcasting rights holder. “It is a window of opportunity for Doordarshan. Apart from IPL, there is a list of sporting events including football and certain test matches, being considered by the ministry to be made available on DD,” said a second person.
Again on the condition of anonymity, a media buyer at an ad agency said that if the proposal was carried through, it would result in the IPL becoming a more lucrative property for advertisers, since it will reach a wider audience. But a top executive at a sports channel said that since the broadcaster had already spent a hefty sum on acquiring IPL rights, giving 25% ad revenue to DD would mean the channel would need to increase it’s overall ad revenue by 25% as well, which would be difficult given that advertisers already spend a huge sum of money on the IPL.
As far as designated cricketing events of national importance are concerned, the following fall under that category at the moment – All official one-day internationals, Twenty20 and test matches played by the men’s cricket team, the semi-finals and finals of the men’s World Cup and the International Cricket Council Championship Trophy.