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India tour of New Zealand 2014: Delhi High Court restrains cable operators, MSOs from telecast

India will be playing five ODIs and two Test matches on the tour of New Zealand © AFP
India will be playing five ODIs and two Test matches on the tour of New Zealand © AFP

New Delhi: Jan 17, 2014

In a big relief to Singapore-based MSM Satellite (Singapore) Pvt Ltd, the Delhi High Court on Friday restrained over 40 cable operators, multi-system operators (MSOs), hotels and commercial establishments from broadcast, telecast and sharing of live feed of the upcoming India-New Zealand cricket series.

Sony Six of MSMS, which also owns various channels including Sony Entertainment TV and SAB TV, has the exclusive broadcast rights for India’s tour of New Zealand from January 19 to February 18 during which five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Test matches will be played.

A bench of Justice GS Sistani passed the interim order against Ashok Country Resorts and 40 others that included cable operators, MSOs, hotels and commercial establishments to not to “telecast or re-telecast” the live feed of the matches to be played in New Zealand.

The MSOs are operators of direct-broadcast satellite or multiple cable television systems.

The court has also appointed a local commissioner who will file a report in the case which is now fixed for hearing on March 14.

MSMS has also sought Rs 20.05 lakhs as damages against the cable firms and others for infringement of its rights.

“Pass a decree of permanent injunction restraining the defendants, their directors, proprietors as the case may be as well as their officers, servants, agents and representatives …from broadcasting, communicating, telecasting and streaming the live feed and other related contents without any authorisation…,” the petition said.

“Due to the short commercial life span of the said cricket series, it becomes imperative that the exclusive right to broadcast such a event is protected at the very outset,” it said.

MSMS, which has been the host broadcaster of the Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception in 2008 and has rights to the tournament till 2017, won the right to telecast the upcoming India-New Zealand cricket series and it apprehends that the unauthorised broadcast by the cable operators and others would harm its commercial interests.

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