Court asks Ten to furnish financial details on cricket

NEW DELHI: The cricket series is about to get over, but the fight between Doordarshan and Ten Sports continue; with the former today asking the latter in the Supreme Court to make available financial details and the benefits that accrued to it by relaying the cricket matches on DD too.

On the basis of the application filed by Prasar Bharati, a bench comprising Chief Justice V N Khare and Justices N Santosh Hegde and SB Sinha, asked Taj India (Pvt) Ltd., the Indian representative of Ten Sports' Dubai based parent company, to file all relevant documents pertaining to the query raised by Prasar Bharati on or before 3 May, the next date of hearing.

According to agency reports, appearing for the national broadcaster, Attorney General Soli J Sorabjee submitted that for the purpose of calculations of losses, the release (advertisement) orders received by the Indian concern of Ten Sports and its sub-distributor HMA Udyog Ltd. (a KK Modi company) were of extreme importance.

Keeping this in mind, the national broadcaster had asked for seven documents to ascertain the exact relationship between Taj TV Ltd., Dubai and Taj TV (India) Pvt Ltd. and Ten Sports and the relationship between Andrew Kumar with Taj TV Ltd., Dubai/Taj TV (India) Pvt Ltd. and HMA Udyog Ltd., news
agencies said basing their reports on the court proceedings.

The national broadcaster also wanted to know "the revenue generated" by Ten Sports from the telecast of India-Pakistan cricket series thus far including the revenue generated as a result of transmission of the logo and advertisements of Ten Sports on Doordarshan.

Ten Sports, which is the exclusive rights owners for broadcasting the ongoing India-Pakistan cricket series, had earlier refused to share the terrestrial rights with DD.

Modi Entertainment Network, which is the exclusive distributor of Ten Sports in India, today claimed it had suffered huge losses because of the telecast of the event by Doordarshan and the arbitrators to be appointed by the apex court should quantify the same.

Since the Chief Justice will retire before the next date of hearing in the matter, it was directed that in his place Justice SB Sinha would be the third judge on the bench.

Ten had moved the SC last month after a Chennai high court ruled in favour of DD. The apex court, in an interim order in March on the eve of the first one-dayer between India and Pakistan, had directed that DD should relay Ten signals. Later the court added that the relay should be done in toto - logo and advertisements booked by Ten - in public interest as DD
was airing its own ads, a fact protested at by Taj India.

The court had also asked DD to deposit Rs 500 million with it as surety towards compensation payable, if any, to Ten Sports in regard to the dispute.

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