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Websites barred from live commentary during ongoing India-New Zealand matches

India New Zealand series © Getty Images
India-New Zealand series is being exclusively covered by MSM Media’s TV entity, Sony Six © Getty Images

New Delhi: Jan 27, 2014 

The Delhi High Court on Monday said an interim injunction will stay for now against two cricket websites providing live updates and commentary of India‘s One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand, whose broadcasting rights are with Multi-Screen Media (MSM)—a Sony owned media company.

A bench of Justice G S Sistani passed the order after the websites M/s Akaute Internet Services Pvt Ltd and its portal Cricbuzz.com and ESPN Digital Media Pvt Ltd turned down a suggestion that they deposit Rs 10 lakh and apply for a licence to continue the business.

MSM has moved the High Court saying the websites are giving audio commentary, live updates and full text updates of the matches after which the court granted the injuction last week.

The company and the court asked the websites to apply for a licence and deposit Rs 10 lakh and in the meantime, continue the business and if the matter is finally decided in their favour, they can take the money.

To this, Akaute Internet Services said it cannot deposit “anything more than Rs 2 lakh as the business is not that viable”.

To this the court remarked, “If the business is not viable then why continue it.”

MSM said it has paid a large amount of money to get the rights and these websites are encashing on it without paying anything.

Appearing for MSM, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Sighvi said, “The websites are providing running commentary within seconds of a stroke being played. They are making money by engaging in something for which I have paid so much money, This is unjust enrichment.”

The India-New Zealand series began on January 19 and will continue till February 18th, and includes 5 ODI matches, and two Test matches.

The New Zealand Cricket Board had granted exclusive media rights including television, internet, mobile and data rights to MSM for the Indian sub-continent.

Two One Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Test matches remain in the series.


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