Sports

Sony Pictures acquires Ten Sports for $385 m

| Updated on: Jan 17, 2018
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SONY

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7 sports channels now part of Sony Pictures

In one of the biggest deals in the broadcasting space, Subhash Chandra-owned Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) has sold its sports channel Ten Sports to Sony Pictures Networks for $385 million in an all-cash deal.

Seven channels in the Ten Sports bouquet will now be part of Sony Pictures. Zee has agreed to a non-compete clause for four years.

Explaining the rationale, Punit Goenka, MD, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, told Business Line: “ The investments required to continue in the sports business were high. Sony approached us and the valuation seemed good to exit and focus on our core category. We hope to complete the deal in the next 4-5 months.”

ZEEL had bought Ten Sports from Dubai-based Abdul Rahman Bukhatir’s Taj Group in 2006. Zee operates the Sports Broadcasting Business under Taj TV Ltd, Mauritius, which has been distributing the TEN brand in India. The sports broadcasting business accounted for ₹631 crore in revenue and a net loss of ₹37.20 crore for 2015-16.

Commenting on the deal, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India CEO NP Singh said, “The acquisition will strengthen SPN’s offering for viewers of cricket, football and fight sports, complementing our existing portfolio of international and domestic properties.”

Analysts said the deal could spark fierce competition between Sony and Star networks. Vinit Karnik, Business Head, ESP Properties, said: “The deal strengthens SPN’s portfolio. For the industry, there may not be a bidding war and it will bring parity from an acquisition standpoint. However, we believe that marquee properties like IPL or football will still be competitive.”

Published on August 31, 2016
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