Olympic Streaming as a matter of rights?

Is there a way to think about broadcasting and quality of TV channels as a matter of civic rights? Sony Liv is broadcasting the Olympics and is doing quite a regrettable job of it. There is no clarity on which of its streams is showing Indian participation, the website is slow, glitchy, and the stream quality is low. When streaming on a TV, the HD option gets switched off. It was fine when Sony Liv had the Euros, India was not participating.

But is there a way to think about Indian contingent’s participation at the Olympic games, where viewing the games and supporting the sportspersons is not just your private right, but also your public right? Is there a way to think about Sony Liv’s shoddy broadcasts as not just a consumer failure, but also a violation of your right to support your country’s contingent in a multisport international event? Do we even have a right to support #TeamIndia? Or is that more of a privilege?

Team India goooooo (on a serious note, a privilege maybe? the only way to know would be to go to a court right?)

Yeah, it’s a pipe dream. BUT, I still retain hope that an argument can be made. All the way back in K. Murugan vs. Fencing Association Of India, Jabalpur (1991 2 SCC 412), the Supreme Court had said:

This does not appear to us to be a matter where individual rights in terms of the rules and regulations of the Society should engage our attention. Sports in modern times has been considered to be a matter of great importance to the community. International sports has assumed greater importance and has been in the focus for over a few decades. In some of the recent Olympic games the performance of small States has indeed been excellent and laudable while the performance of a great country like India with world’s second highest populations has been miserable. It is unfortunate that the highest body in charge of monitoring all aspects of such sports has got involved in group fight leading to litigation and the objectives of the Society have been lost sight of. The representation of India in the IOA has been in jeopardy.

We combine that with BCCI v. Cricket Association of Bihar, (2016 8 SCC 535), which brought BCCI under Art. 226’s writ jurisdiction and hey presto bob’s your uncle, we can make a writ argument that the IOC ought to exercise greater due diligence while selecting broadcast partners.

Sigh this will never actually happen though.

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