Monday, January 22, 2007

Should DD get to co-broadcast the Cricket Matches?

There is a lot of debate happening right now on whether or not DD, the ubiquitous State run TV Broadcaster should have the "right" to co-broadcast the current Cricket Series. I for one, don't agree that with that premise.

By sharing the broadcast rights with DD, without any kind of compensation, is a violation of the Rights that Nimbus has bought from the BCCI. Its debatable if the figures that they paid are worth it, but its still their Right. Rights are no different any other contract. Take personal property. There is a growing divide between the Rich and the Poor in India. The solution to that is not "Flog the Rich and Hand it over to the Poor" ala Robin Hood, but to uplift the Poor out of their quagmire by providing adequate infrastructure and opportunities. The very idea that DD should automatically be given a TV feed, just because there are folks who do not have access to NEO Sports is based on the Robin Hood principle. It may be good in a story but not a practical solution.

If DD were to be allowed to broadcast, then it should be due to a contract signed between NIMBUS, NEO Sports and DD. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry should not have any role to play in this. DD should pay to share the feed and NIMBUS should be compensated appropriately.

On the whole, there are number of things that the I guys should not do. Firstly, this whole "holier than thou" attitute is rubbish and self indulging. If anything the powers to be should focus on

  1. Setting standards for the quality of broadcast feeds. Right now, I know of a variety of Cable Operators who provide pretty poor quality signals to their neighbourhoods. There needs to be proper regulation of this quality to ensure that the customer gets the signal quality that she pays for.
  2. Discourage the increasing sensationalism in TV News. Everything seems to be breaking News. Everything seems to be blown out of proportion. Take the Shilpa Shetty case. Is it really so important? The real issues of racism are hidden away when the media trivializes such an important issue.
  3. Reduce Censorship. A case in point is the fact that the first amendment to the US Constitution increases its citizens freedom of speech while the first amendment of the Indian Constitution reduces it.

  4. Free the boundaries of Radio. Radio is now forced to be a friviolous medium where only songs are allowed. No serious talk and definitely No News.

Fix all this and allow Information to flow. Otherwise, rename the ministry as The Dept for Prevention of Information.

Myopic view of , ,

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