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Delhi HC writes broadcast rules in NDTV, ESPN row over ICC T20 world cup footage

In an injunction suit brought against NDTV news television network by ESPN, which was the broadcasting rights owner for the ICC T20 world cup cricket matches held recently, the Delhi high court prescribed guidelines for reporting of sporting events on news channels.

The following observations were made:

Footage of the matches is entertainment to the masses, therefore being “result-oriented reporting”. Injunction can be granted even if there is fair-use of the footage if the reporting is not result-oriented.

Footages can be used while reporting sports events in both hard news and sports news programs, but only if the programs were pre-existing news format programs rather than designed for a particular sports event. Also special premium can not be accepted or solicited from third parties for airing advertisements during these programs.

Quick broadcasting of footages by news channels would harm the economic interests of the original investors of the event, but stale news is no news and therefore news has to be reported while it remains current. A lifespan of 24 hours is agreed upon.

For special sports news programs, news channels have two options: Either air an ad specifically targeted during the programs and don’t use the footage, or use the footage but don’t air any advertisements [Spicy IP]

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