Supreme Court gives green light for MTV/MBC to telecast Olympics
The Supreme Court yesterday stayed an order issued by the Commercial High Court which prevented a private TV channel from telecasting the London Olympic Games 2012 and ruled out exclusive telecast rights of the state run television, Rupavahini.
The bench comprising the Chief Justice Dr. Shiranee Bandaranayake with Justices Nimal Gamini Amaratunga and K. Sripavan made this ruling sequel to an appeal filed by the MTV Channel (Pvt) Ltd and MBC Network (Pvt) Ltd against the Colombo Commercial High Court Order.
The Supreme Court observed that the main objective of the Olympic Charter and the spirit of Olympic is the widest possible audience coverage. The Court also noted that the duration of Olympic games is 16 days and the games coverage is approximately minimum 3000 programming hours and the maximum coverage could be given by a channel even if its telecast 24 hours a day, could be maximum 384 programme hours and the public will have no access to the balance programming hours of Olympic games to be telecast.
Supporting the Special Leave to Appeal application filed by MTV/MBC Romesh De Silva P.C. with Sugath Caldera instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam stated that the MTV Channel (Pvt) Ltd is a member of Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union and possess a valid license from the Union to telecast and broadcast Summer Olympic Games 2012. The counsel further submitted that the Commercial High Court has failed to consider the rights of the MTV/MBC and it has failed to consider the irreparable loss and damage that would be caused to the private channel as well as to the Sri Lankan public.
The Supreme Court order to Stay the Commercial High Court order, allows MTV/MBC to telecast the Summer Olympic Games which is due to commence on July 27.
Following a Plaint filed by the state-run Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), the High Court on May 17 prevented the telecast of London Olympic to any other local TV station other than SLRC.
Romesh De Silva P.C, with Sugath Caldera, R. Balasubramaniam, Shanaka Cooray, Manjuka Fernandopule and Niranjan Arulpragasam instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam appeared for MTV/MBC.