Doordarshan gives up live cricket

Pubcaster will instead air 90 minutes of highlights daily

Indian pubcaster Doordarshan has abandoned plans to broadcast the upcoming Pakistan-India cricket series live, telling the Supreme Court in New Delhi that it cannot afford the hefty fee demanded by Dubai-based Ten Sports, which holds the rights (Daily Variety, Dec. 22).

Instead it will air 90 minutes of highlights each day from the match, which starts Friday in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Ten Sports went to court to challenge a government decree forcing payboxes to provide terrestrial feeds of their national and international sports coverage to Doordarshan.

The pay channels say they are willing to provide feeds in rural areas, where they have no presence, but not in major cities, where the hugely expensive cricket rights would be diluted.

Ten Sports estimated its losses at around 1.4 billion rupees ($31.7 million) if it were forced to share the live feed of the hugely popular cricket matches, the most valuable piece of real estate in Indian TV.

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