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I&B Minister takes cricket telecast issue with PM news
Our Corporate Bureau
11 March 2004

New Delhi: The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad, yesterday met the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to chalk out ways and means of widening the coverage through Doordarshan so that a major portion of the country can watch the Indo Pak cricket matches.

The Government has been coaxing, cajoling and talking to Ten Sports to persuade the broadcaster to share the rights to the series with Doordarshan. Meanwhile, the I&B Ministry is not keen on promulgating an Ordnance though this could be the last resort for the Government.

"We do not want to take a drastic step by issuing an Ordnance. We will try and persuade Ten Sports to share the rights with Doordarshan," said officials of the Ministry.

"Ten Sports is a cable channel and several parts of the country do not have access to cable services. Even such households which do not have cable should not be deprived of the matches," said senior officials in the I&B Ministry.

Even as the Madras High Court will give its final order on Thursday, the Court has suggested looking into the option of promulgating an ordnance whereby national or international events of general interest be offered to the national broadcaster in the free-to-air mode. Pakistan already has a law to this effect.

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I&B Minister takes cricket telecast issue with PM