Jan 28, 2009

Sport - Cricket;Ten Sports pockets Sri Lanka Cricket TV rights

MUMBAI: After much legal wrangling, Ten Sports has managed to get the broadcasting rights for cricket in Sri Lanka from 2009 to 2013. The deal is said to be worth around $65 million and has India visiting there twice.

For the previous deal, which ran from 2004 to 2008, it had paid $50 million.

The minister of sports did this on behalf of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) following a Supreme Court order to re-negotiate its earlier deal with Ten Sports.

In 2007, Ten Sports had signed a deal with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) bagging the rights from 2009 to 2012. Jayantha Dharmadasa was the SLC interim committee chairman then.

But it was cancelled by the sports minister on the grounds of irregularities unearthed by a special three-member committee headed by the Secretary to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Sports and Public Recreation S Liyanagama.

After months of unsuccessfully trying to resolve the issue, Ten Sports filed an arbitration case in November in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) wherein SLC was sued for $300 million.

Separately a former Sri Lankan player Hashan Tillakaratne filed a fundamental rights case in the Supreme Court saying that SLC should not negotiate with Ten Sports as it was against public interest, and that SLC was losing money as no tenders were involved.

The court rejected the PIL and said that SLC should re-negotiate with Ten Sports at a reported higher price. Now that the deal has been re-negotiated it is expected that Ten Sports would withdraw its arbitration case.


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