In an order dated August 2, 2023, the Delhi High Court in the case of Star India Private Limited and Anr. V. CricHD SC and Ors. [IA 14169/2023 in CS(COMM) 518/2023] issued an interim injunction restraining 22 rogue websites from streaming cricket matches relating to the Asia Cup 2023, scheduled to be held from August 31, 2023.
Asserting that the Asian Cricket Council granted the exclusive global media rights to the plaintiffs for the Asia Cup tournaments for the period 2018 to 2023, the plaintiffs filed the present suit before the Delhi High Court against rogue websites, the Domain Name Registrars of domain names used by said rogue websites, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
After perusing the letter dated August 18, 2022, issued by the Council, it was observed that the agreement executed in June 2017 granted exclusive global media rights in favour of plaintiff no.1, including television, audio, internet, and mobile rights. With this, the Court acceded that the plaintiffs had the rights for exclusive telecast, broadcast and online streaming with respect to all Asia Cup tournaments.
The Court noted that the plaintiffs established a prima facie case for grant of interim injunction; the balance of convenience lay in the plaintiffs’ favour, and irreparable injury would be caused if the interim injunction was not granted.
Hence, the Court issued a dynamic injunction restraining 22 rogue websites from hosting and streaming cricket matches relating to the Asia Cup 2023. Further, the Court directed the Domain Name Registrars to block the domain names and the DoT, MeitY and ISPs to block the rogue websites.
The matter will be heard next on December 19, 2023.