February 2010
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Commonwealth Games 2010 contract referred to solicitor general

New Delhi: The contract between public broadcaster Prasar Bharati and UK-based SIS Live for television coverage of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 has now been referred to solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam, it is learnt

A source in the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry said that opinion of the solicitor general has been sought on the draft contract between Prasar Bharati and SIS.
Also, the I&B ministry has written to the Central vigilance commissioner Pratyush Sinha on the coverage of the games and the tendering process for selection of the broadcaster. I&B secretary Raghu Menon's recent letter to Sinha, elaborating on the tender process, is being seen as a cautious step to ward-off controversies on a later date.

Sources pointed out that SIS wanted certain changes in its contract with Prasar Bharati, and that resulted in difference of opinion between the finance wing of the broadcaster and the Doordarshan Directorate. Subsequently, a decision was taken to seek the advice of the solicitor general.

After a tender process, in which at least 10 players participated, five were shortlisted. Finally, SIS Live of the UK was selected for production and coverage of the Commonwealth Games for Rs 246 crore.

Officials in the I&B ministry said that since Prasar Bharati does not have the expertise to conduct an international event in the high-definition television (HDTV) format, production and coverage of the games had been outsourced.
An empowered committee comprising top officials of Doordarshan and All India Radio selected the broadcaster.

SIS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Satellite Information Services (Holdings) Ltd and is owned by a combination of leisure and financial investors, according to the company website. It's into TV production, broadcasting and providing live pictures and data via satellite. It also supplies TV programming and data services to the UK and Ireland betting industry.
Among other bidders shortlisted for producing the games coverage were ADAG group's Big Products in consortium with Inter Public Marketing Services Shanghai and Tokyo Broadcasting Systems.

Sources pointed out that the ADAG group may not be keen on producing the games any more, after having put in the bid a few months ago.

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