Sony back as IPL broadcaster in new Rs 8,200-crore agreement

Written by Corporate Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 26 2009, 06:02am hrs
The domestic telecast rights for the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will remain with Multi Screen Media (earlier known as Sony Entertainment Television). In a press release issued late on Wednesday, IPL announced that MSM and World Sports Group (WSG), the global rights holder, were now the official broadcast partners for the league.

Wednesdays deal, worth a staggering Rs 8,200 crorealmost double last years ten-year agreementis valid for the next nine years through 2017 and provides MSM with the exclusive audio-visual rights for all 59 matches of the upcoming season, which is scheduled to start on April 18 in South Africa, the release said.

Telecast rights for the hugely popular cricket tournament have been in the news ever since Sony sued the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), owners of IPL, over the sudden termination of its agreement on March 15. The cricket board signed a fresh contract for global broadcast rights with WSG Mauritius.

Sony then petitioned the Bombay High Court for an injunction as it felt it had been given very little notice of termination. On Monday, however, the court lifted the injunction on BCCI to negotiate fresh rights with broadcasters.

The upcoming IPL tournament has been mired in controversy this year. The central government had raised security concerns about holding the event as it clashed with dates of the general elections in the country in April-May. On Tuesday, IPL announced that it had decided to hold the tournament in South Africa.

Speaking after the latest broadcast agreement was signed, IPL chairman & commissioner Lalit Modi said, We are absolutely delighted with the new deal inked today with WSG and Multi Screen Media. We have what we believe to be the best deal for the DLF Indian Premier League and Indian cricket fans alike. I am certain that Multi Screen Media will pull out all the stops in ensuring that the best technology is utilised to deliver excellent content.

The IPL management will now work closely with Cricket South Africa to ensure that all the necessary logistics and technicalities are completed before the league kicks off, the release added. Season 2 of the IPL will provide broadcasters and in-stadia spectators with 177 hours of live family entertainment. A significant international audience will now also view the matches, it said. Matches will be broadcast at 4 pm and 8 pm IST.