HC asks WSG, BCCI to settle dispute over telecast rights

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Mumbai, Jan 18 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today suggested Mauritius-based World Sports Group (WSG) and BCCI to settle their dispute amicably in regard to termination of their agreement on overseas telecast rights of IPL matches.

The suggestion was made by a division bench which heard an appeal filed by WSG against a single bench''s order dismissing its plea against BCCI''s decision to terminate the contract between them.

BCCI was represented by senior lawyer Rafiq Dada while WSG''s appeal was argued by Aspi Chinoy.

Sony Entertainment Television (SET), owned by Multi Screen Media (MSM) Satellite, had also entered into agreement with the Cricket Board for telecast rights in India of IPL matches for the period 2009 to 2017, Chinoy argued.

Accordingly, they had agreed to pay WSG Rs 450 crore as facilitation fee (consideration) to enable WSG to relinquish their telecast rights for India. Unless WSG relinquished these rights, SET could not have entered into direct agreement with Cricket Board over telecast of rights.

A division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and A A Sayed suggested both sides to consider if this money (Rs 450 crores), which has become the bone of contention, could be paid to BCCI. In lieu of this, the agreement between WSG and BCCI for telecast of overseas rights would continue while SET would have to be content with telecast of rights in India.

Of this amount, Rs 150 crore has already been paid by SET to WSG and the rest is still pending, Chinoy submitted.

Both sides would inform the court tomorrow whether this is acceptable to them and if they do not agree to this suggestion, the arguments on WSG''s appeal would continue.

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