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BCCI and Sony embroiled in an ugly dispute over a payment of Rs 125 crore

The money in question is the remaining part of payment of the US$80 facilitation fee.

Rajesh Kaul
Rajesh Kaul is the executive head of Sony Pictures Networks Distribution. (Photo Source: LiveMint)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India‘s (BCCI) previous Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights owner, Sony Pictures Network (SPN) and the board are currently embroiled in an ugly dispute over a payment of Rs 125 crore and have the potential to shake up the Indian cricket broadcast industry like never since 2009-10.

The money in question is the remaining part of payment of the US$80 facilitation fee (Rs 425 crore) that Sony was obliged to pay the BCCI back in 2009-10. Back then, the facilitation fee was deemed necessary if MSM were to secure the rights to IPL for the next nine years.

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Monetary details

Earlier, in a statement, MSM Satellite (Singapore) Pte. Ltd, the previous broadcasters of the IPL, said the fee was for: The original option fee of $25m (Rs115 crore approximately) to extend the rights (and) an additional fee over the nine years of the contract of Rs 310 crore. SPN had paid the BCCI, INR 300 cr out of the total 425 cr but have held back the remaining sum stating that the penultimate part of the payment would be made after due-diligence is done.

In the emails exchanged between the BCCI and SPN over the last couple of months, the former has sent reminders to make the remaining payment but SPN, have stood firm in their resolve that the payment cannot be made without its share due-diligence. As of now, the Governing Council of the IPL has put this matter on record.

Commenting on the ongoing scuffle, a market analyst was quoted as saying by the TOI, “The Indian cricket media rights tender is coming up in January and the BCCI knows it better than anyone else that if it considers taking Sony head on, it will be to its own detriment. As it is, there are only two broadcast players in the sports market (Star India being the other one).”

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