The Delhi High Court has reportedly passed an order restricting rogue websites from broadcasting and streaming the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
The World Cup matches are scheduled to be held from October 5 to November 19 this year. Star India Pvt Ltd and Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd, which operates the Disney+ Hotstar platform, had filed a lawsuit in the HC saying that many websites are likely to indulge in unauthorised dissemination of the cricket match.
Star India holds the exclusive global media rights, including television and digital, to stream the World Cup. Disney+ Hotstar will be streaming the much-awaited cricket tournament for free.
As per a PTI report, Justice Prathiba M Singh, responding to a lawsuit filed by Star India Pvt Ltd and Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd, said the World Cup cricket matches are “extremely popular, especially in the Indian subcontinent” and rogue websites, which in the past have also indulged in piracy, are likely to continue the authorised streaming.
“…there is a need to restrain any rogue websites from disseminating and communicating to the public any part of the cricket match events without authorisation or license from the plaintiffs (Disney+ Hotstar),” the court was quoted as saying.
Hence, the court has restrained various “rogue websites”, which are alleged to stream illegal and pirated content, by an ad-interim order from communicating, screening, making available or disseminating any part of the ICC World Cup Cricket matches on any electronic or digital platform in any manner.
The HC has also directed the concerned authorities to block and suspend the websites that are seen violating the order. The plaintiff would also have the right to communicate the details of such websites to the Department of Telecommunications and Ministry of Electronics for issuance of blocking orders.
It must be noted that during the India-Pakistan Match in the Asia Cup 2023, Disney+ Hotstar saw 2.8 Cr concurrent viewers earlier this month. The platform’s decision to stream the cricket matches for free also likely gave a boost to the viewership numbers.
Disney+ Hotstar added 2.9 Mn paid subscribers between July and September this year, taking its total subscriber base to 61.3 Mn by the end of the September quarter, which was a positive quarterly growth after a downtrend in a few consecutive quarters.
Meanwhile, the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) recently filed a petition with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), requesting a cease on Star India’s plans to stream cricket matches for free on Disney+Hotstar.
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