SJTA allows channels to live telecast Rath Jatra festival

Bhubaneswar, Jun 12 (PTI)

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Tuesday said it will allow all television channels to live telecast the Rath Jatra festival in Puri, instead of its earlier plans for bidding of the broadcast rights. “No television channel will be denied the right to broadcast the festival,” SJTA chief administrator P K Mohapatra told reporters.

The channels, however, will be requested to share a part of the revenue they generate through the commercial adevertisements, Mohapatra said. Asked if bidding for live telecast is now cancelled, he said: “No. We have determined the market price through the bidding process.

We will talk to the channels and request them to pay a part to the temple, as they are generating revenue through telecast of the festival.” The decision of the Temple Management Committee headed by Gajapati Maharaj Divya Singh Deb came a day after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Orissa High Court. The PIL has challenged the SJTA’s move to go for bidding.

Earlier, the SJTA had invited sealed tenders from broadcasters, which opened on Monday. Seven television channels had bid for the telecast rights. However, the management committee decided against bidding in view of the strong opposition from different quarters, sources said. The Ratha Jatra this year will start on July 4 and culminate with the ‘Suna Besha’ on July 12.

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