Thursday, February 01, 2007

An ill advised ordinance

From The Hindu Govt clears ordinance to ensure sports feed on DD

With just weeks to go for the cricket World Cup, the government today approved promulgation of an ordinance, making it mandatory for private broadcasters to share live feed of important sporting events with public broadcaster Prasar Bharati.
The decision will ensure that millions of cricket lovers in non-cable houses and radio listeners would receive live feed of Indian team's one-day matches, wherever it plays. However, for test matches, the government has said live feed would be required only for matches played in India while for those played abroad, the highlights would be sufficient.
Time for the cricket/sports fans to celebrate? Not really. The government may succeed ( if it can defend the legal challenges that are bound to follow) in creating an illusion, that it has got sporting action to everyone who has access to a TV set for free. But did any one tell them that there are no free lunches? The likely result of this move, would be lesser money in the hands of sports bodies. Is any one going to bid fancy prices for sporting events in India in the future? Lesser money in the hand of sports bodies means either lower spending on developing the sport or larger handouts from the government to keep the sport going.

Is any one going to try developing a PHL type tournament in any other sport ? No ! For the moment it is successful, DD will walk in and take away the advertising rupees that one was counting on. So Indian sports, like Indian education, can now wait for philanthropic hand outs.

No comments: