New Delhi: The broadcast sponsorship rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) have been restored to its original partner Multiscreen Media Pvt. Ltd-run Sony Max TV channel through an out-of-court settlement.
This was confirmed by three executives on Thursday, one each from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that owns the 20-over cricket tournament, an advertiser associated with Multiscreen Media, and an official of the World Sport Group. None wanted to be identified.
Multiscreen Media and IPL officials have informed the Bombay high court about the development and the lawsuit is likely to be dismissed on Friday, the BCCI official said.
Mega platform: A file photo of IPL’s season 1 match between Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad. PTI
These executives said that under the new arrangement, Multiscreen Media and World Sport together will pay IPL around 20% over the originally agreed upon sum of $1.026 billion (Rs 5212.08 crore). “The other change is that Sony has extended its partnership with IPL to 10 years against five years (earlier),” the World Sport official said.
World Sport bought global media rights for IPL from BCCI for 10 years and Multiscreen Media bought the telecast rights for the Indian sub-continent from World Sport for five years.
The row between IPL and Multiscreen Media began a month back when Big TV, the satellite TV division of Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group walked out of a Rs137 crore sponsorship deal signed with IPL, after Multiscreen Media signed on rival Airtel Digital TV, the satellite TV arm of Bharti Airtel Ltd as an on-air sponsor.
“It was simply a game of greed... IPL pressurized Sony into getting them a better deal, and Sony had too much at stake to back out at a time when most (sponsorship) deals have already been signed and sealed,” said another advertiser who declined being named.
Multiscreen Media and IPL executives declined to officially comment on the issue.