NEW DELHI, Feb 10 (IANS): Millions of cricket fans in the country may get to see India's first World Cup match against traditional rivals Pakistan on Feb 15 free of cost as the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Delhi High Court judgement that had barred public broadcaster Doordarshan from sharing the live feed of the cricket matches with the cable operators.
The live feed of the matches are provided to cable orders by ESPN and Star TV which hold exclusive telecasting rights for the World Cup, starting on Feb 14.
The Delhi High Court last week had barred Doordarshan from sharing the live feed.
The order was passed on the plea of the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India, ESPN and Star who had contended that cable TV operators were getting live feeds through DD channels free of cost, resulting in loss of revenue for them.
The apex court bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the Delhi High Court judgement will remain stayed till the next hearing on Feb 17 when it will take the matter to pass interim orders.
Senior counsel P Chidambaram appearing for Star TV told the court that after seven long years the High Court passed an order in his clients favour and expected the balance of equity to remain in their favour so that the cricket matches are not aired on television freely.
He said his client has several proposals for consideration by the court.
The Delhi Court had barred Doordarshan from sharing the World Cup live feed with cable operators, but declined the plea to quash Prasar Bharti's 2000 notification making it mandatory for cable operators to carry DD National and DD News channels.