SC tells Ten to file details of ad revenues; next hearing 14 July

NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: The Supreme Court yesterday asked Ten Sports to file within two weeks documents detailing the total advertisement revenue it got during the simultaneous telecast of Indo-Pak cricket series on its channel and Doordarshan.

The court, while fixing 14 July as the next date of hearing, asked the parties, including cable distributors, to substantiate their claim on losses and profits arising from the telecast, according to a PTI report.

The court also directed Doordarshan to give an account of the advertisement it had carried on March 13 and 15 during cricket matches.

Meanwhile Ten Sports officials have been quoted by the Business Standard as saying its estimated loss of Rs 2 billion from sharing the feed of the recently concluded India-Pakistan cricket series with Doordarshan was reasonable because it had to pay RS 2.8 billion to the Pakistan Cricket Board to acquire exclusive telecast rights for the series.

"Ten Sports had secured the rights for telecast of cricket matches being played in Pakistan for a period of five years on payment of RS 280 crore (RS 2.8 billion). To state that Ten Sports' desire to make a legitimate return on its investment is unjustified or illegal would be ludicrous," a Ten Sports executive said.



The only problem with the statements being made is that Ten Sports' parent company, Dubai-based Taj Television, had paid out $42.6 million to the PCB for exclusive rights to telecast all cricket matches in Pakistan for five years when it signed the agreement in March 2003. Even calculating at an exchange rate of RS 50 per dollar that works out to RS 213 million.

And if one examines the actual payout for this particular series, it is $ 13.45 million (includes additional $300,000 Ten agreed to pay PCB for live video streaming rights and $150,000 for live radio (broadcasting).

While there might be some quibble on the numbers, there is no denying that ten's subscription revenue plans had suffered a heavy blow from having had to simulcast on DD.

The point made by Ten Sports officials is that the company was at a disadvantage vis-a-vis others which offer a bouquet of channels.

"For such companies, it is possible to subsidise losses suffered by particular channels from revenues generated from other channels. Ten Sports is a single channel company and that too in the niche activity of sports," the officials have been quoted as saying.

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