Zee Entertainment has decided not to go ahead with its USD 1.4 bn deal with Disney Star for the TV broadcast right for cricket matches, according to industry sources.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), which has already missed the first instalment of around USD 200 million, will not move ahead, industry sources told PTI.
The instalment to be paid to Disney Star was part of the USD 1.5 billion investment committed by the Sony group after its merger with ZEEL, said another industry source while confirming the development.
However, Sony Corporation had on Monday announced the termination of the USD 10 billion merger agreement with ZEEL, while seeking USD 90 million for breach of conditions besides initiating arbitration.
As per the merger agreement between ZEEL and Sony, the Japanese entity was supposed to invest USD 1.575 billion in the merged entity and have a majority stake.
There were no immediate comments from ZEEL over the development.
Earlier on August 30, 2022, ZEEL had announced entering into a strategic licensing agreement with Disney Star for television broadcasting rights of the ICC Men's and Under-19 global events for a period of four years.
While Disney Star will continue to exclusively stream all ICC tournaments through its digital platform Disney+ Hotstar, a joint statement had said.
This was done with the in-principle approval from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Disney Star bagged the broadcast rights of all ICC events for four years from 2024 to 2027 for the Indian market from the sport's global governing body.
As per the agreement, ZEEL was supposed to have exclusive television rights for ICC men's events, including the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, which will be played in 2024 and 2026, ICC Men's Champions Trophy (2025), and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup (2027), along with key ICC U-19 events, it said.
ZEEL on Wednesday approached the corporate disputes tribunal the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to get Sony to honour a USD 10 billion merger deal.
Sony had resisted the demand by Zee Chief Executive and Subhash Chandra's son Punit Goenka, who was investigated by Sebi over fraud allegations, to stay on after the merger.
It has also initiated appropriate legal actions to contest the claims of USD 90 million (Rs 748.5 crore) filed by Sony Group before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).