Didn''t engage in any improper business activities: SIS Live

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Claiming that several assumptionsmade by the Shunglu Committee were "inaccurate", UK-based SISLive, which had the sole telecast rights to the CommonwealthGames, today said it was never contacted by the probe paneland that it had made a profit of only half a per cent.

"SIS Live would have been happy to cooperate in anyreasonable way in order to ensure that the report was based onfacts and produced in a balanced fashion," the company said ina statement from the UK adding that at no point of time was itcontacted by any representative of the committee, which lookedinto irregularities in awarding Games broadcast rights.

It claimed that throughout the report, the committeesuggested that SIS Live had undue influence during the tenderprocess and contract negotiations.

"SIS Live refutes these suggestions. The company operatesto high ethical standards of business and did not engage inany improper business activities or attempt to influence thedecision-making of Prasar Bharati".

"A number of facts and assumptions made by the ShungluCommittee and included in its first report are inaccurate orincorrect," it said.

The UK-based entity claimed that it had not"acknowledged" profits of 135 crore on the Games as mentionedin the report.

"SIS Live has made no such acknowledgement and documentssubmitted to the Indian tax authorities provide clear evidencethat the profits made by SIS were in fact very modest andlikely to be less than one crore," he said.

"The assumptions made by the committee are fundamentallyflawed as it assumes Zoom delivered the entire contract, whenit only delivered a proportion, and that SIS Live incurred noexpenses on its own account.

"In addition to the approximately 160 crore paid to Zoom,SIS Live has incurred costs as detailed in the cost submissionattached, leaving just one crore, profit margin of less thanhalf a per cent," it said.

An SIS Live spokesman said, "The suggestion that SISLive made large profits has no basis, in fact, something whichcould easily have been established with reference to therelevant tax authorities with whom we have been co-operatingin full for many months and who are in receipt of thousands ofdocuments in evidence of this, or simply by asking us".

The high-level committee, which went into allegedfinancial irregularities in Commonwealth Games, has indictedsuspended Prasar Bharti CEO B S Lalli and Doordarshan DirectorGeneral Aruna Sharma, accusing them of "collusion" with theUK-based firm which benefited to the tune of Rs 135 crore inthe broadcast deal.

It has also recommended action against the twoofficials saying "they cannot be recused from the acts ofomission and commission which facilitated this wrongdoing".

The 236-page interim report was submitted yesterday tothe Government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken a"serious view" of the findings. He has sent it to the CabinetSecretary and sought follow-up steps within a week.

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