IPL gets costly for Sony

Rose Major

Sony’s Multi Screen Media (formerly Sony Entertainment Television) will now pay a higher price for television rights to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, with the price rising from just over US$1 billion to US$1.6 billion.

Renegotiation of the rights, for the next nine years until 2017, came about because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) blamed MSM for losing a key in-stadium sponsor, the Reliance-Anil Ambani Group. The row led the two sides to agree a new deal.

This year’s tournament, starting on April 18, will be held in South Africa because of security fears. An election will be underway at the same time and the security forces cannot provide the level of manpower they would be able to were the election not happening.

The new deal is actually with middleman World Sport Group (WSG) rather than direct with BCCI. Other broadcasters including ESPN and NDTV did show renewed interest in the contract but were not willing to pay such a high price.