Nimbus refuses to share feed with AIR, Soni to take up issue with BCCI

Ravi budhwar

21 Apr 2011
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Doordarshan has been authorised to demand mandatory sharing of signals for important sports events since a law was passed in this regard in 2007, but it does not cover All India Radio.

With Team India having won two one day internationals on home ground after the humiliating tour of England, Prasar Bharati has taken umbrage to Neo Cricket refusing to sharing signals with AIR.

AIR sources, who confirmed that Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni had agreed to talk to the Board for Control of Cricket in India on this issue, said Neo Sports had been approached well in advance by AIR for sharing signals but had received a negative response.

These sources told that the Empowered Committee of Prasar Bharati dealing with this issue had then conveyed the matter to the Ministry with their resentment on the issue.

Neo Sports, which possesses the rights for broadcasting cricket played in India, had demanded that Prasar Bharati should accept a new revenue sharing model failing which it denied signals to AIR - which is the only radio channel permitted to broadcasts cricket commentary or news in India.

Sources said AIR has been paying up to $6000 per match in order to buy the broadcast rights, but Neo Sports had refused to even accept $6250. Instead, Neo Sports is demanding a 50:50 revenue sharing model.

Nimbus COO Yannick Colaco said that the Sports Broadcasting (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act ("Sports Act") clearly states that, in the case of radio coverage for International ODIs featuring India, all advertising revenues generated from the same must be shared in the ratio of 50:50 between both parties.

"Since the inception of the Sports Act, Nimbus has repeatedly urged AIR to follow the Law as required by the same in broadcasting radio commentary of International cricket events. However ,AIR has steadfastly refused to share revenues and instead offered meagre amounts as license fees, many times amounting to less than 10 per cent of total revenues generated."

He added that it is a matter of record that AIR made revenues of Rs 12 million for India versus New Zealand series last year and paid Nimbus a license fee of approximately Rs 1.9 million.

"It is, thus, very obvious that AIR has routinely manipulated its position to ensure that AIR makes enormous profits by not abiding by the Sports Act and by offering meagre amounts in the form of License Fees."
source:indian television
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