HC orders private channels not to violate Olympic telecast rights

New Delhi, Aug 22 (UNI) The Delhi High Court has ruled that private television channels must not violate the guidelines relating to the footage of the Beijing Olympics, for which Prasar Bharati has acquired exclusive rights from the International Olympic Association (IOA).

Taking cognisance of the matter, Justice Reva Khetrapal yesterday noted that the rules were clear that private channels shall use the footages upto the specified limit of 10 seconds at a time and two minutes per day in their news programmes.

The court stated that apart from TV India Ltd, NDTV, Times Now, and others who were named in the petition filed by Prasar Bharati, its ruling also related to news channels not represented in the court.

The public broadcaster has now been asked to file details of the loss it has suffered because of violation by various news channels and claim damages, if any.

The court has listed the matter to come up for further hearing on August 26 by when Prasar Bharati will also file its affidavit, as the Olympics are ending on August 24.

Doordarshan has been irked by the widespread telecast of its Olympic footage by private news channels, specially of the opening ceremony. According to sources, a senior Doordarshan official had been monitoring the telecast of various news channels directly and through TAM. The official said while the sports channels had generally worked out agreements with DD about sharing signals, the news channels had failed to do so.

The sources also quoted DD Counsel Dinkar Kalra as saying that he expects to raise the issue of contempt of court order before the court on August 24 since the news channels have continued to violate yesterday's order.

The Television News Access Rules framed by the International Olympics Committee says that when exclusive television rights to broadcast the Olympics are granted by the IOC to any organisation for a particular territory, no other organisation may broadcast sound or images of Olympic events in that region.


Story first published: Friday, August 22, 2008, 22:05 [IST]
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