HFCL-Nine not in default to DD, says CEO Ravina Raj Kohli

HFCL-Nine Broadcasting has denied reports that it had defaulted on payments to national broadcaster Doordarshan and said all its dues had been cleared.

The clarification came in the wake of reports yesterday that HFCL-Nine had defaulted on four instalments of payments totalling Rs 240 million over an eight-week period.

As per the contractual agreement, HFCL-Nine has to pay DD Rs 60 million a fortnight for its three-hour slot between 7 pm and 10 pm on DD Metro. HFCL-Nine had last year secured the rights to supply programming for the prime time slot for Rs 1,210 million.

Speaking exclusively to (read interview), HFCL-Nine CEO Ravina Raj Kohli said: "The facts are not correct. Technically, there were only three defaults - or rather delays. We had not paid up because we were waiting and watching. We had submitted a proposal and were discussing extension of the current contract with DD. We paid up finally, earlier this week. We had the money."

HFCL-Nine is a 51:49 per cent joint venture between Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd promoted by Vinay Malloo and Channel Nine promoted by Australian media magnate Kerry Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd.

HFCL-Nine has been under the spotlight in recent times because of its indirect association with cornered bull operator Ketan Parekh who has been accused of massive fraud on the stock markets and is presently in custody. Parekh, Malloo and Packer are partners in KVP Ventures, a venture capital fund set up for investments in the convergence sectors.

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