We leave it for the government to take a decision in coordination with all other stake holders. We make it clear that the government must respond,” a first bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad said while disposing off the plea.

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[1/13, 13:32] Sekarreporter 1: #MadrasHC asks govt to decide on live streaming top #sports events on #Doordarshan | More sports News – Times of India @timesofindia @toisports https://t.co/hd6bYorVqO
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HC asks govt to decide on live streaming top sports events on Doordarshan
Sureshkumar | TNN | Jan 13, 2020, 12:08 IST
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CHENNAI: Asserting that change is the need of the hour and that every legislation must be updated in accordance with technological advancements, the Madras high court on Monday asked the government to take appropriate decision on the PIL seeking to amend the sports broadcasting law, to enable Doordarshan to stream top sporting events on its Over The Top (OTT) platforms, in addition to its terrestrial and DTH networks on free-to-air basis.
“We leave it for the government to take a decision in coordination with all other stake holders. We make it clear that the government must respond,” a first bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad said while disposing off the plea.
The issue pertains to a plea moved by a Mumbai based sound engineer, Aditya Modi, who has questioned the legality of certain provisions of the Sports Broadcasting Act that restrict Prasar Bharti to re-transmit live-broadcast sports events of national importance only through its own terrestrial and DTH networks but not through other mediums of broadcast available on free-to-air basis, including OTT (Over The Top) platforms and cable operators.
“In view of the obvious lacunae in the Act, users/viewers, who do not have access to or use of such networks, are either unable to watch these sporting events of national importance or compelled to watch such sporting events on highly priced sports channels, thwarting the very objective of the Act,” PIL-petitioner Modi said.
Prasar Bharti does provide OTT services and telecasts Doordarshan channels on free-to-air basis. However, due to non-inclusion of OTT platform in the law, Prasar Bharti is unable to stream such sporting events on its OTT platform, thereby depriving millions of citizens access to live feed of such events, counsel for the petitioner Karthik Seshadri said.
“Due to widespread use of smartphone coupled with the availability of cheap internet data, especially in rural India, a person is able to keep abreast of ongoing events. One is also able to carry a streaming device wherever he travels, and he can also stream any event on the streaming device with ease at any place. However, due to heavy subscription charges levied by the private OTT players, who have rights to broadcast for big sporting events, millions of citizens are deprived of such entertainment due to the embargo placed on Prasar Bharti by the legislature,” he added.
Therefore, Doordarshan should be allowed to re-transmit such events on its OTT platforms and through cable operators/other networks, Seshadri argued.

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