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Sports broadcasting & the extent of mandatory sharing laws in India: A review of Union of India v. BCCI

Indian flag and gavel
Thursday, 02 November 2017 By Saurabh Mishra

In August 2017, the Supreme Court of India passed an important judgment in the case of Union of India v. Board of Control for Cricket in India1 on the issue of mandatory sharing of signals containing sports content. The case involved reconciling two distinct but harmoniously applicable laws. The Supreme Court confirmed that where private broadcasters are mandatorily required to share their signals with India’s public broadcaster, the retransmission must be limited to the public broadcaster’s network only and cannot be retransmitted on other private networks.

This article reviews the case, specifically looking at:

  • How the sports broadcasting market works in India and how “mandatory sharing” legislation fits in;

  • The facts of the case;

  • The proceedings in the Delhi High Court;

    • Arguments of Star India

    • Arguments of BCCI

    • Arguments of India’s public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati

  • The Appeal to the Supreme court.

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Written by

Saurabh Mishra

Saurabh Mishra

Saurabh is a lawyer working as counsel for Star India Pvt. Ltd. He is also associated with the Football Players Association of India (FPAI). He received his B.A./LLB from The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, and was a recipient of the Graduate Scholar Award at the Fifth International Conference on Sport and Society in July 2014. He has previously worked with organisations such as Adidas and Atletico de Kolkata, a franchise in the Hero Indian Super League.



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