Zee Telefilms today claimed damages worth Rs 1,630 crore from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its former president, Jagmohan Dalmia, for the cancellation of telecast rights awarded to it in September 2004.
“We have engaged a leading international accounting firm to prepare a detailed report calculating the damages caused to us. Our preliminary estimate of such damages is Rs 1,630 crore,” Zee Telefims said in its notice.
The spat over telecast rights of the cricket matches organised by the board started when the latter cancelled the award to the Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms in September last year after it was contested by ESPN-Star Sports in the Bombay High Court.
Subsequently, Zee Telefilms challenged the cricket board’s move in court. The Madras High Court last month ruled that the board’s move to cancel the award of rights was improper.
Zee Telefilms said the Madras High Court had found that it had been wronged and deprived of its legitimate business opportunity, resulting in serious business losses.
“We, therefore, give notice of our intent to claim damages from BCCI and Dalmia jointly and severally for the losses already caused to us,” the letter written by Zee Telefilms’s Executive Vice-President Himanshu Modi said.
The letter added that the decision of the cricket board to permit other broadcasters to telecast the cricket matches resulted in additional losses to the company.
At the same time, Zee Telefilms has reiterated its offer to resolve the crisis amicably.
“We are offering to BCCI even now to find an amicable solution to the crisis. We had made similar offers earlier, but the board has rejected all of them," said Ashish Kaul, vice-president (corporate brand development), Zee Telefilms.
"We are giving this notice to the BCCI and Dalmia so as to invite the board to form a committee that can jointly consider the matter in order to arrive at an agreed figure so that further costs and expenses are saved, failing which we shall hold BCCI and Dalmia liable for any further costs and expenses incurred by us in calculation of damages in this complex situation,” the broadcaster said in the letter, adding that it would give the board and Dalmia a fortnight's time from today to respond to the offer.