The Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Ordinance, 2007

In the first week of February, 2007 the President of India promulgated an ordinance making it mandatory for private broadcasters in India to share the live feed of important sporting events with public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati. Millions of cricket lovers- who do not have cable facility and radio listeners - would receive live coverage of Indian team's upcoming one-day matches. Private broadcasters now left with little choice but to share live feed of important sporting events with public broadcaster Prasar Bharati. This means, from now on it will be mandatory for private broadcasters to share live feed of all "sporting events of national importance" with the government-run Doordarshan and All India Radio.

This is a popular ordinance by the Government. While the cricket lovers in the country will definitely benefit, the private broadcasters might decry this ordinance. However, as every sports channels operating in India wants 'Cricket' for its survival it might not be bad idea for BCCI to produce the Cricket on its own and then sell it to more than one sports channel to be telecast. In that way, there won't be an "exclusivity" factor and also millions of cricket lovers will be able to enjoy the game.

Today the game of cricket in India is popular because of its widespread distribution and traditional interest of people in this sport. By distributing cricket signals to all the channels cricket lovers will have the option of choosing the channel they want to view cricket on. This way BCCI will be able to sell the cricket production to many channels and will be able to keep control on any such scenarios where the public may suffer because of disputes between sports channels.

If not for a long term, at least on a trial basis, this idea should be tried out. India can not only innovate and show the world of this new style of Cricket marketing but also may be able to stop all the bickering over telecast rights between state controlled and private channels, thereby helping to popularise this game further in India.

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