In a major development in the television industry, Zee Telefilms Ltd and Taj TV Ltd have announced a strategic move whereby Zee has agreed to acquire a 50 per cent stake in the Dubai-based sports channel, Ten Sports. The investment is based on an enterprise value of $114 million (Rs 513 crore).
This reinstates Zee’s seriousness and belief in the genre of sports broadcasting. Ten Sports is the leading sports channel in India with the highest viewership among all sports channels. Ten Sports has the rights to leading cricket properties from the Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket Board. These rights combined with the BCCI’s neutral venue rights that Zee Sports has, creates the single largest repertoire of cricket programming.
Among other sports, Ten Sports also has rights to the UEFA Champions League, WWE, US Open, Hockey World Cup, which rate amongst the most popular programmes in India. Zee Sports also has the rights to Indian football, Davis Cup, WTA and Italian Serie A soccer.
Zee and Ten Sports will be able to leverage these properties to their maximum potential across both platforms. Ten Sports is headquartered out of its state of the art office complex in Dubai.
On the acquisition, Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Zee Telefilms, said, “This acquisition is an important step for Zee towards consolidation in the media industry. We are confident that this will add significant value for the shareholders of Zee. The acquisition of a stake in Ten Sports not only gives us a strong foothold in the arena of sports broadcasting across Asia but also strengthens our operations in the Middle East.”
He further said, “I have known Abdul Rahman Bukhatir for sometime now and have the greatest respect for him as a businessman and his leadership of one of the most successful conglomerates in the Middle East, more particularly the achievements that he has had in the areas of manufacturing, retail, construction. I admire him for the way he has popularised cricket in the Middle East. I am certain that our joint partnership will result in a mutually beneficial relationship.”