Disney-owned Star India starts arbitration against Zee over cricket broadcasting deal – Times of India

by The Technical Blogs


BENGALURU: Walt Disney-owned Star India has started arbitration proceedings against Zee Entertainment Enterprises for alleged non-compliance with the terms of a cricket broadcasting agreement, Zee said on Friday.
Under the August 2022 agreement, Star India was to license television broadcasting rights for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) events to Zee for four years, starting this year.
Zee, however, quit the $1.4 billion deal after missing its first $200 million payment, saying it was not in a position to pay, Reuters reported in January.
Instead, Zee believes Star India breached the agreement and has sought 685.4 million rupees ($8.3 million), it said when reporting its quarterly results on Feb. 13.
Now, Star India is seeking “specific performance” of the agreement or the payment of damages, Zee said in a statement, without providing details.
Zee said Star India’s application does not specify a claim amount and that the alleged damages and costs are yet to be determined.
The company said it will issue a response to Star India’s application, filed in the London Court of International Arbitration.
Star India did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The deal is the latest Zee alliance to become embittered, after Sony’s India unit scrapped a planned $10 billion merger with the broadcaster, with the cricket TV rights deal among the points of contention.
Zee’s bid to take debt for the deal — which Sony said was “without prior written consent” — took its total debt above the merger agreement threshold, Reuters has reported.
While Zee and Sony’s marriage was junked, Disney and Reliance announced a merger last month to create an $8.5 billion media behemoth in the country.


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