“Just because you organise a cricket match does not mean you own it” – Conversation with Udit Sood about the Delhi HC judgment on Star’s media rights and the “hot news” doctrine

UditSoodpodcast2Idea Cellular and other mobile providers recently resisted the claim made by Star India Private Limited (“Star”) that they had “misappropriated” Star’s “quasi-property rights” in real-time cricket scores. Star’s claim was that its arrangement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (“BCCI”) gave them some rights over real-time scores. In a six-year deal, Star had paid the BCCI Rs. 3851 crore for exclusive media rights, including “mobile rights”.

The mobile service providers had captured real-time cricket scores and updated their subscribers through text messages. Star now wanted the Delhi High Court to restrain mobile service providers from sending out real-time cricket scores. A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court recently overturned the opinion of a Single Judge and rejected Star’s claim.

Sports-LawUdit Sood was part of Luthra and Luthra’s team of intellectual property lawyers who acted for the mobile service providers before the Delhi High Court. In a brief conversation with him, he explained the basis of Star’s claim, the history of the “hot news” principle in the United States of America, and the implications of the judgment for the organisers of live events, including sporting organisations.

(Aju John is part of the faculty at