In what could be one of the biggest deals in the world of sports business in recent times, Sony looks all set to buy Ten Sports from Zee Entertainment. According to CNBC-TV 18, Sony will buy Ten Sports for around Rs 2,000 crore, and the deal is likely to be announced sometime this week. “Zee Entertainment bought 50% stake in Ten Sports in 2006 and later went on to buy 45% stake in 2010. The enterprise value of the business was around $114 million. However this business has been reporting an EBIT loss for Zee,” the channel said. “It was only in the last quarter that it reported an EBIT profit. Zee has been struggling with this business for the last 10 years, and they wanted to be out of sports business,” the channel added. With the sale of Ten Sports to Sony, an EBIT loss of Rs 100 crore will be relieved, the channel added.
According to the channel, Zee Entertainment refused to comment on the speculation of this deal. “From time to time, we keep exploring strategic opportunities for entering new businesses or in our existing businesses. However, as a matter of policy we do not comment on media speculations,” the channel reported Zee Entertainment’s spokesperson as saying.
From the point of view of Sony, the deal would add a big bouquet of sports channels to its existing portfolio. Ten Sports has 7 channels; Ten 1, 2, 3 (all of which are also available in HD plus) and Ten Golf. With the addition of these seven channels, Sony’s sports portfolio will have a total of 9 channels, as against its rival Star India, which has 8 channels.