Mumbai: An arbitral tribunal has held the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) guilty of exploiting its dominant position with respect to cricket in India and of unfair conduct against Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), which was awarded Rs.140 crore in damages.
The tribunal consisting of former Supreme Court chief justices A.S. Anand and Y.K. Sabharwal, and B.N. Srikrishna, a former judge of the apex court, held that ZEEL was treated unfairly in its commercial contracts because of its launch of the Indian Cricket League (ICL) and was illegally blacklisted.
This dispute pertains to an agreement executed in April 2006 between BCCI and ZEEL whereby the broadcasting company was granted the exclusive media rights to telecast all one-day internationals to be held between India and any other country in any neutral territory outside India for a period of five years.
This agreement was ended by BCCI in May 2007, around the time of the launch of ICL, resulting in ZEEL invoking arbitration for wrongful termination of the contract.
Under the order passed, ZEEL is entitled to damages on all counts, including loss of goodwill, loss of profit and also refund of security deposit with interest.
“The Tribunal passed an award of approximately Rs.140 crore to be paid by BCCI to ZEEL by 1st December 2012, failing which the amount would carry interest at 11% per annum, till payment,” according to a statement issued by the company.
“This award is towards recovery of the losses that we have incurred in the sports business in the past. We continue to remain committed to our sports business in the long term,” said Punit Goenka, managing director and chief executive, ZEEL.