AITA initiates legal proceedings against Doordarshan

The AITA has initiated legal proceedings against national television broadcaster Doordarshan after the ITF expressed its concern over the status of the 'live' telecast of Davis Cup tie between India and Italy.

Owing to its agreement with Doordarshan, the AITA cannot approach any other broadcaster to cover the India vs Italy tie. (Representational Image)   -  Getty Images

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has initiated legal proceedings against national television broadcaster Doordarshan to ensure the coverage of the Davis Cup tie between India and Italy to be played in Kolkata on February 1 and 2.

In a release issued here on Monday, secretary general of the AITA, Hironmoy Chatterjee, pointed out that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) was "deeply concerned" about the status of the 'live' telecast of the tie.

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From 1997, the AITA has had an agreement with Doordarshan, renewed every five years. However, after the last renewal in 2017, with the agreement running up to 2022 and giving exclusive rights to Doordarshan "to cover the Davis Cup matches in India and international tournaments including Challengers and Futures", the national broadcaster has not honoured the contract.

"In the last one year, Doordarshan has not been honouring the agreement and has failed to telecast major international events, causing a great loss of reputation to the AITA in front of ATP, WTA and ITF’’, the release further stated.

Owing to the agreement with Doordarshan, the AITA is not in a position to approach any other broadcaster for coverage.

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"Doordarshan is not confirming whether they would telecast the tie," said Chatterjee.
"Having failed to receive any positive response from Doordarshan in the last two months, AITA has initiated legal proceedings before the Honourable High Court against Doordarshan for specific performance on telecast of Davis Cup tie," he added.

The AITA has argued that it was a prestigious tie and that the sports fans should not be deprived of viewing a tennis event of such magnitude, with the winner reaching the elite World Group final stage.