Good news for Doordarshan viewers! For the first time, select IPL matches including the opening and closing ceremonies, are set to be telecast on a one hour deferred live basis by Doordarshan, the national broadcaster.
There will be a 50:50 revenue sharing between Star India, which had bagged the IPL media rights last September and Doordarshan for the broadcast of the upcoming edition.
Last December, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry had proposed to make IPL available on Doordarshan and had asked the Sports Ministry to look into it.
Star India had acquired the IPL rights for Rs. 16,347.5 crore in a 5-year deal.
However, the Sports Broadcasting Signals Act, 2007 mandates them to share the live feed of the IPL tournament with Doordarshan.
There is no doubt that Doordarshan will boost IPL viewership, taking it to rural areas where digital TV penetration is less and cable networks are still unreliable.
The question is if this provides Doordarshan with an unfair advantage.
While private broadcasters spend crores of money for exclusive rights, it seems like a free ride for Doordarshan which stands to earn revenues without investing anything.