20 Sep 2017
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Sony pays $330 mn to ZEEL in first phase of sports biz acquisition

MUMBAI: Sony has paid $330 million to Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) in the first phase of its acquisition of the sports broadcasting business.

The first phase of the transaction comprises the sale of ZEEL’s entire stake in Taj India and transfer of major part of sports broadcasting business of Taj Mauritius.

ZEEL’s sports broadcasting business is housed under subsidiaries Taj TV Ltd, Mauritius (Taj Mauritius) and Taj Television (India) Pvt Ltd (Taj India).

The final phase of the transaction is expected to be concluded within the next few months, subject to certain closing conditions.

In August 2016, Sony had signed an agreement with ZEEL to buy the latter’s sports broadcasting business for $385 million (Rs 2,578 crore).

Following the completion of the first phase of acquisition, Sony Pictures Networks India has added Ten 1, Ten 2, Ten 3, Ten 1 HD and Ten Golf HD.

SPNI’s sports channel count has thus jumped to nine channels including Sony Six, Sony ESPN, Sony Six HD and Sony ESPN HD.

Certain other operations and assets will be included in the final phase of the acquisition, subject to certain closing conditions, which is expected to be completed in the next few months.

NP-Singh_CEO_INSIDE01“The integration work has started. The final phase of the acquisition is subject to some closing conditions and should be complete in the next few months,” SPNI CEO NP Singh said.

On being questioned whether Ten Golf would continue, Singh said that the channel has some good properties.

Replying to a question on whether BCCI had recently spoken about the Indian Premier League (IPL) tender for media rights, Singh said that the board had not communicated anything fresh on the bidding process for the next cycle of rights. “The focus for us right now is on the 10th edition of the IPL,” he stated.