Advanced Television

Zee fallout sees cricket deal cancelled

January 29, 2024

By Chris Forrester

Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL), clearly suffering as a result of its collapsed merger with Sony’s Indian broadcasting interests, is pulling out of its contract with Disney India for a massive sub-licensing $1.4 billion (€1.29bn) agreement to cover key International Cricket Council (ICC) matches for the 2024-2027 seasons.

ZEEL is already extremely late in paying an obligatory $200 million deposit on the agreement to Disney-backed Star TV. India sources say that ZEEL has yet to secure the necessary bank guarantees for the deal which was first announced back in August 2022.

The Press Trust of India is reporting that if the cash is not forthcoming the whole burden will fall on Disney’s Star TV shoulders.

In ZEEL’s FY23 annual report, the broadcaster said that the acquisition of ICC TV rights is “subject to certain conditions precedent, including submitting financial commitments, guarantees, and ICC approval for sub-licensing to the firm, which are pending”.

“Disney Star would not hesitate to take Zee to court if it fails to honour the agreement,” a legal expert reportedly said.

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