Jamaica’s High Court compels SportsMax parent to provide E-Networks with FIFA World Cup games

Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2018, 20:19 by Denis Chabrol

Jamaica’s Chief Justice, Justice B. Sykes has issued an injunction against the St. Lucia- based owners of regional sports broadcasting network SportsMax, International Media Content Ltd (IMC), preventing them from disconnecting a feed of FIFA World Cup to E-Networks.

IMC had issued a cease and desist letter to E-Networks to prevent that entity from broadcasting the World Cup football matches on the grounds that Guyana’s State-owned National Communications Network (NCN) had been the sole rights holder for the games.

However, E-Networks moved to the courts and secured a 28-day period of restraint from IMC terminating the agreement whereby IMC granted E-Networks Inc. the exclusive “cable television rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup.

The order also compels the company to “commence provision of the feed to the SportsMax World Cup Channel to E-Networks for 28 days.”

In a statement, E-Networks stated that the broadcast rights to FIFA World Cup are held by Direct-TV which isued a memorandum of understanding advising that only IMC and Direct-TV can grant exclusive rights to authorise cable broadcasts of the World Cup in Guyana.

E-Networks said it paid IMC substantial sums to secure the exclusive cable broadcast rights of the series, “only to be told a few days before the scheduled broadcast that IMC may no longer honour its agreement with E-Networks.

The local cable provider states that after it became apparent that IMC would not give E-Networks access to the world cup feed, E-Networks immediately sought intervention of the court to prevent IMC from breaching its contracts, resulting in the Court’s order.

E-Networks is represented by  Daniella Silvera, Kathryn Williams and Lisa Williams of Livingston, Alexander & Levy in Jamaica, and is lead locally by Devindra Kissoon and Edward Luckhoo S.C.