Yesterday, 31st August 2016, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) announced the sale of its sports network Ten Sports to Sony Pictures Network (SPN) for Rs. 2,600 crore.
TEN Sports’ network includes TEN 1, TEN 1 HD, TEN 2, TEN 3, TEN Golf HD, TEN Cricket and TEN Sports. Ten Sports network runs these channels across India, the Maldives, Singapore, Hong Kong, Middle East and the Caribbean.
Yesterday, ZEEL said that the board of directors of the company had permitted the sale and transfer of Zee’s sports broadcasting business to Sony Pictures Network. Recently the Ten Sports network is held by two ZEEL companies – Taj Television Ltd, Mauritius and Taj Television (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Managing director of ZEEL, Punit Goenka said that, “This is a landmark deal for Zee Entertainment.” He also added that, “The sale was a step to a strategic shuffle of its portfolio of channels as the broadcaster pursues to increase its general entertainment business.”
Goenka said that the company will be focusing on its general entertainment business, specially in the regional space. And also added that Zee Entertainment will be launching a Telegu movie channel in September.
Completion of the acquisition is quiet subject to regulatory approvals. And the transaction is expected to close in four to five months.
Chief Executive of Sony Pictures Network India, N.P.Singh said that the acquisition will support Sony’s sports offering. He also said that, “The acquisition of TEN sports network will support Sony Picture Networks offering for spectators of cricket, football and fight sports, complementing our existing portfolio of international and domestic sporting properties.”
Sony Pictures Network already contains exclusive broadcast rights to one of the toughest cricket properties in India—the Indian Premier League (IPL). The acquisition of TEN Sports will also give it access to matches which is held by the cricket boards of South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Also Ten Sports has the rights to World Brawling Entertainment matches that include football (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, French League, English Football League Cup), tennis (WTA Events, ATP events), golf (European Tour, Asian Tour, Ryder Cup, US PGA Championship, LPGA Tour, Professional Golf Tour of India and Golf Channel Block), athletics (Asian Games, Commonwealth Games), motor sports (Moto GP) and cycling (Tour de France) events.
For the year 2015-16, Zee’s sports network broadcasting business donated Rs.631 crore, about 10.79% of the combined profit of the company. The business recorded a loss of Rs.37.2 crore in 2015-16.