The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Prasar Bharati, having the maximum reach, must get clean feed, free from all embedded advertisements and commercial elements from all private broadcasters under the law.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Prafulla C Pant dismissed an appeal filed by broadcaster Star India Ltd against sharing clean feed with Prasar Bharati, India’s public broadcaster.
The purposive interpretation of the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act mandated the broadcasters to supply clean feed to the public broadcaster by removing sponsor logos and on-screen credits for telecast on Doordarshan, the bench said.
The Act and the rules, framed thereunder, made it amply clear that signals to be shared with Prasar Bharati by the content rights owner or holder are to be the best feed that is provided to broadcast service provider in India and has to be free from commercial advertisements, the court added.
Noting that when live broadcasting signal with advertisements is shared with Prasar Bharati, those advertisements will have much larger viewership but the benefit would accrue only to those who have booked the advertisements, so the sharing of the signals has to be without any advertisements and if the advertisements are also to be included in the signals, there has to be sharing of the revenue, the court said.