Sony completes first phase of Ten Sports takeover

Indian pay-television operator Zee Entertainment Enterprises has today (Tuesday) said the first phase of the sale of its sports business, Ten Sports, to media group Sony Pictures Networks India has been completed.

Sony was last month granted approval by the Competition Commission of India for its acquisition of Ten Sports.

Approval from the CCI has paved the way for Sony to become the dominant player in the Indian sports media market. Sony in August entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ten Sports in a deal valued at $385m (€362.5m).

In a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange, Zee said today: “The first phase of transaction inter alia comprising the sale of entire equity stake of the company in Taj-India and transfer of major part of the 'Sports Broadcasting Business' of Taj- Mauritius stands concluded today upon receipt of $330m.”

Following the completion of this phase of the acquisition, Sony’s portfolio of nine sports channels will now include Sony Six and Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD, Ten 1, Ten 1 HD, Ten 2, Ten 3, and Ten Golf HD.

Zee added that certain other operations and assets will be included in the final phase of the acquisition, subject to certain closing conditions, which is expected to be completed in the next few months.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Sony Pictures Networks India chief executive NP Singh said: “SPN is now equipped, better than ever, to offer its viewers premium sporting content with a sports portfolio that includes every major sport and many international as well as domestic leagues. We are now stepping into the integration process to facilitate a seamless transition.”

Ten’s sports-rights properties include football’s Uefa Champions League and Europa League; cricket from the Pakistan Cricket Board, West Indies Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket and Cricket South Africa; golf’s Ryder Cup, European Tour and Asian Tour; multi-sport events in the form of the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games; and tennis in the form of men’s ATP events and women’s WTA tournaments.

Ten Sports was acquired in 2010 by Zee when it bought the UAE-based Taj Television.