Fans deprived of early overs due to govt-channel fight
Saturday, 15 October 2011 18:38
Contributed by holdingwilley
For the love of the game.
NEW DELHI: The live broadcast of the first India-England one-day match from Hyderabad was delayed by three overs on Friday because right holders Neo Sports Broadcast Private Limited - which shows the matches live on its channel Neo Cricket -- and the government were locked in a tussle over payment issues.
This resulted in delayed permission for uplinking facilities.
The screens showed "no coverage due to technical issues" as the pre-match show was extended, depriving feed from the first 15 minutes of the game to the rights holders, Doordarshan, Sky TV in Britain and affecting live streaming on the BCCI's website too. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting did not approve the uplinking facilities till before the start of the first ball, resulting in the delay. In a statement issued midway through the game, Neo Cricket attributed the delay to an "unreasonable demand" from Prasar Bharati, which uplinks live telecasts.
Neo alleged there was a change in the agreement in the date of payment of a bank guarantee of Rs 4 crore to Prasar Bharati. Under the draft agreement between the two signed on October 12, 2011, Neo was required to submit the bank guarantee within five days of signing the formal agreement.
"It was expected that the agreement would be signed on the 13th or 14th and thus the bank guarantee would be submitted on the 19th or 20th of October 2011 (i.e. five dates after signing)," Neo said in the statement.
Prasar Bharato CEO Rajiv Takru, however, told TOI: "We had informed the rights holder on October 10 itself that they would have to give a bank guarantee of Rs 4.5 crore. We can't help it if they decided to wait till the last minute to comply by the agreement requirements. We are willing to cooperate but not at the cost of sacrificing the government's interest."
Neo said that the night before the match, the ministry sent a letter (a copy of which is with TOI) stating that uplink permission would be granted to Neo only after it submitted a bank guarantee before the start of the first ODI.
The letter sent on Thursday by the ministry to BCCI said, "You are advised to immediately take up the matter with Neo Sports and ensure compliance with the provisions of the Sports Broadcasting Signals (mandatory sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007."
Neo said it paid the entire bank guarantee to Prasar Bharati at 12:37 pm on Friday.
Source: The Times of India
Last Updated on Saturday, 15 October 2011 18:48