Lex Sportel Vision launches new channel amid Discovery dispute

Indian media company Lex Sportel Vision has launched a new sports pay-television channel, 1Sports, as it continues to tussle with media group Discovery over control of the DSport channel.

LSV said all content that was previously on DSport would be moved over to 1Sports.

LSV and Discovery Asia-Pacific worked together to launch DSport in 2017. RC Venkateish, a former managing director at Indian pay-television broadcaster ESPN Star Sports, heads up LSV and was to run the channel’s day-to-day operations.

In October last year, Discovery moved to take control of the channel by terminating its agreements with LSV and seeking to change the name of the channel to Eurosport. LSV is resisting the move, claiming it has ownership rights over the channel. It has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court regarding the matter that is due to be heard on March 30.

In a notice issued to Indian pay-television operators in the last few days, LSV said that on January 23 Discovery had “terminated our distribution agreement in India” and begun changing distribution equipment so that it could transmit a channel called DSport SD in place of the old DSport channel. LSV said this resulted in a disruption of the DSport service, hence the launch of 1Sports. LSV also said Discovery did not have rights to make the changes and is essentially wrongfully passing off its DSport SD channel as the old DSport channel.

Discovery did not respond to requests for comment by SportBusiness this week.

DSport’s content includes football from the Indian I-League, the French Coupe de France and the Scottish Premier League; golf from the European Tour, the British Open, the PGA Championship, the Hero Challenge and the Australian Open; and combat sports including the Bellator and Cage Warriors promotions.

Indian media news website Televisionpost.com reported that LSV said it was one of the “shortlisted bidders” for Sri Lanka Cricket media rights that are soon to be on the market.