New Delh: The legal battle between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and broadcast network Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd (MSMPL) has taken an interesting turn, with two people familiar with the development claiming that the broadcaster has submitted a new offer to the organizers of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and sought an out-of-court settlement with them.
“Sony (MSMPL was earlier known as Sony Entertainment Television) has given BCCI an offer...they will send the papers formally to them in a day or two,” said a senior executive at one of the sponsors signed by MSMPL for its IPL telecast. “We are constantly in touch with them (MSMPL) and they told us they will seek an out-of-court settlement.”
Game plan: Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals team members in a file photo. While losing the telecast rights to a rival will hurt MSMPL, BCCI won’t be able to sign a fresh contract with a new broadcaster without encountering significant logistical problems. PTI
Another senior executive of a company that is involved in the ongoing case between MSMPL and BCCI said: “While the court will take its own course, the three parties are constantly in touch with each other and there is no denying the fact that it will be in everybody’s interest if the matter is resolved amicably and as soon as possible.”
Both executives did not want to be identified because the matter is still before the court.
The three parties the executive is referring to are BCCI, which owns IPL, sports marketing company World Sport Group (WSG), which bought global media rights for IPL from BCCI for 10 years, and MSMPL that bought the telecast rights for Indian subcontinent from WSG for five years.
Both executives said that while losing the telecast rights to a rival will hurt MSMPL immensely, BCCI won’t be able to sign a new contract with a new broadcaster and arrange for the live telecast of the long event without encountering what they termed significant logistical problems.
They, however, refused to divulge details of the new offer made by MSMPL to BCCI.
Both MSMPL and BCCI refused to speak on the issue.
Meanwhile, the Bombay high court on Wednesday reserved its order on the case filed by MSMPL. The hearing on the case has been going on for the past two days. MSMPL obtained an injunction on 15 March in the court to restrain BCCI from signing a new deal with WSG.
BCCI lawyers, according to PTI, however, had told the court that they had already signed the fresh deal with WSG and a person familiar with this development told Mint on Tuesday that the new deal rendered the broadcast agreement with MSMPL “annulled”.
MSMPL managed to raise close to Rs350 crore through various advertising and sponsorship deals during the 2008 edition of IPL. This year, even as questions about whether the event will take place remain, it has already got commitments worth about Rs300 crore from various advertisers, including Airtel Digital, Hyundai Motors and Coca-Cola.
Separately, IPL organizers managed to get security clearances from various state governments for the venues named in their third proposal sent to the government on Tuesday. The venues are Hyderabad, Mohali, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Dharamshala, Kolkata, Raipur and Nagpur. “The respective state governments of all the venues submitted in the list have responded positively...we are now waiting for the home ministry to give the final clearance,” said Amrit Mathur, chief operating officer of Delhi Daredevils, one of the eight IPL franchisees.
Delhi and Jaipur were dropped from the new schedule submitted by IPL organizers because of security and safety concerns raised by the ministry of home affairs. The list has now been sent to the ministry for its final clearance.
The second season of IPL was originally scheduled to be held between 10 April and 24 May. The government, however, sought a change in this schedule, saying these days will overlap with the dates of general election, which will begin on 16 April.