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Is viewers right to watch cricket on TV low priority, SC to BCCI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court yesterday asked the BCCI whether the priority of a cricket viewer's right to watch matches on television is lower than its right to earn through advertisements during matches.

"Do you think right of viewers to have uninterrupted view of cricket matches stands at low priority than the BCCI's right to make money through advertisements," a bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur said.

The bench also comprising Justice Justice F M I Kalifulla made the observation after the senior advocate appearing for K K Venugopal submitted that BCCI has reservation over limiting of advertisements during Test and One Day International cricket matches.

He said that the Lodha committee had recommended that advertisements be shown at the end of matches or during the breaks.

Venugopal said the BCCI, would suffer a major revenue hit and consequently the board would not be in a position to conduct any cricketing events as the value of the broadcasting contracts would be significantly devalued.

He said that some contracts for broadcasting rights have already been signed by the board with the operators for next couple of years.

The bench then said that it understands that some broadcasting contracts may have been signed for some years to come but the new contracts could include the recommendations.

It said that it will examine this issue at a later stage. BCCI also raised the issue of age cap of 70 years for an office-bearer or a board official, and the limit on the tenure for an office bearer to a maximum of three terms of nine years each across positions.

The board also objected to the recommendation of Lodha panel for having two representatives of IPL franchises on the governing council.

"We cannot have franchises on the IPL governing council because it is an inherent conflict of interest," Vengopal said.

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