Television

Discovery India gets favourable order from Delhi High Court on DSport

R Venkateish and Lex Sportel cannot use DSport logo to promote 1Sport

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MUMBAI: How times change. It was hardly a couple of years ago, that  Discovery Communications International Networks (DCIN) LLC, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific (DNAP) and Discovery Communications India (DCI) were all bum-chummy with the former Dish TV India CEO and ESPN India managing director R Venkateish. Discovery had launched its channel DSPORT with Venky and his firm  Lex Sportel Vision as its “consultant.”

But the two parted ways on 23 January 2020, with Discovery  -  “exercising their right under the provisions of the Term sheet, following material breaches of Law by Lex Sportel and Venkateish in providing services to DCIN and DNAP” – terminating the relationship with Venky and Lex from 23 January 2020. 

Prior to that, DNAP and DCI had put Lex Sportel and Venky on a four-month notice from 14 October 2019 during which they were required to provide services in accordance with the term sheet to DCI and DNAP.

And DCI has been slugging it out with Venky in the courts since then. And yesterday, the Delhi high court passed an ad interim order restraining Lex Sportel Vision, Venky and Dilip Sharan, CEO from using the logo DSPORT in any manner whatsoever and specifically for marketing its own channel 1Sport thereby using the goodwill of DSPORT. The interim injunction was granted against their former partner “as in the past weeks they issued several communications in public causing confusion within the market and industry on the ownership of DSPORT,” says a Discovery India press release.

Discovery – south Asia senior vice-president – affiliate sales and head of sports business  Vijay Rajput says that the court order clarifies who the true owner of the DSPORT brand is.

He adds:  “Discovery has carried out business in this country for the past 25 years with utmost credibility and business ethics. We followed all processes despite multiple false accusations and are delighted that finally, the truth has prevailed. “

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