IPL 2024: Dynamic+ Injunction Issued in Favour of Viacom 18

In an order dated March 22, 2024, the Delhi High Court issued a dynamic+ injunction in favour of the Plaintiff, Viacom 18 Media Private Limited, to prevent the illegal streaming of Indian Premier League (IPL) events.[1]

The media rights agreement conferring exclusive digital media and television rights with respect to the IPL events was executed between the Plaintiff and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in June 2022. It was for five years, from 2023 to 2027.

The Court held that a prima facie case was made out in the instant case. It was noted that irreparable harm would be caused to the Plaintiff if an injunction was not issued, and the balance of convenience was also in favour of the Plaintiff. Moreover, the Court observed, “The need for immediate relief is particularly pressing in this case, considering the T20 format of the IPL matches, which are characterised by their brief duration. The short duration of these matches means that any delay in blocking access to rogue websites could lead to significant financial losses for the Plaintiff and an irreparable breach of their broadcast reproduction rights. Therefore, swift action to prevent such infringements is crucial to preserving the Plaintiff’s investment in the broadcasting rights and maintaining their copyright protections.”

Consequently, the Court restrained the defendant rogue websites from broadcasting IPL events and directed the Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to suspend and block their websites, respectively.

If further websites are found to be illegally streaming the IPL events, the Court held that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) shall also issue blocking orders immediately upon receiving communication from the Plaintiff in this regard.

The matter will be heard next on August 22, 2024.

[1] Viacom 18 Media Private Limited v. John Doe & Ors. [IA 6786/2024 in CS(COMM) 254/2024]