MIB extends date for receiving feedback on changes in Sports Act to Jan 15
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has extended the date for receiving feedback on Draft Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharti) (Amendment) Bill, 2018, till January 15, 2019. The earlier deadline for receiving comments from general public/ stakeholders was December 31, 2018.
The Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing With Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007 (Sports Act) was enacted by the Parliament with an objective to provide access to the largest number of listeners and viewers, on a free to air basis, of sporting events of national importance through mandatory sharing of sports broadcasting signals with Prasar Bharati, through Doordarshan channels.
However, as per provisions of the Sports Act, the live feed received by Prasar Bharati from the content rights owners or holders, is only for the purpose of re-transmission of the said signals on Doordarshan’s own Terrestrial and DTH network (DD FreeDish) and not for Cable Operators/ other networks. As such, the viewers, who do not have DD FreeDish or Doordarshan’s terrestrial network, are either unable to watch these sporting events of national importance or are compelled to watch these sporting events on highly priced sports channels.
Accordingly, with a view to ensure access to the largest number of viewers, on a free to air basis, of sporting events of national importance through mandatory sharing of sports broadcasting signals with Prasar Bharati, MIB proposed to amend Section 3(1) of the Sports Act to ensure the mandatory sharing of the signals of the sporting events of national importance, to other networks, where it is mandatory to show Doordarshan Channels as per Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
As per the proposed amendment, content rights owner or TV/ radio broadcasting service providers are required to share the live broadcasting signal of sporting events of national importance, without its advertisements, with the Prasar Bharati to enable them to re-transmit the same on its own terrestrial network and Direct-to-Home network and on other television distribution platforms/ networks.