The Supreme Court has issued a "short-term interim order" against television service providers’ decision to charge Rs500 to Nepali spectators to watch the World Cup.
The single bench of Justice Prakashman Singh Raut issued the order on Tuesday after a preliminary hearing on the writ petition filed by Advocates Kishore Paudel and Anupam Bhattarai on behalf of the consumers.
The petitioners have also made Media Hub – the holder of exclusive broadcasting rights of World Cup 2022 for Nepal – along with television service providers and the Ministry of Communication as opposition in the case. The football’s global showpiece is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.
Media Hub has acquired all the rights of terrestrial, satellite, DTH, only broadband and mobile and other electronic broadcasting in Nepal. The company has agreed with Himalaya Television to broadcast all 64 World Cup matches in the country.
With the competition around the corner, the service providers have urged Nepali customers to pay Rs500 to their respective service providers on top of the regular subscription fee to watch the World Cup matches. There are an estimated two million Nepali television subscribers in Nepal.
The bench has ordered to stay the TV service providers’ decision to collect additional fees for the World Cup, citing possible irreparable loss to the Nepali customers.
The court has called both parties on Sunday, November 13, for further deliberation on whether an interim order should be issued in this regard.