SonyPictures Networks India(SPN) on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire TEN SportsNetwork from ZeeEntertainmentEnterprises Limited (ZEE) and its subsidiaries for 385 million U.S. dollars.
The Acquisitionwill add South Asia’s leading Sportsnetwork to SPN’s existing portfolio of channels. Completion of the Acquisitionis subject to regulatory approval.
Long a television destination for Sportsfans, SPN Sportsproperties include cricket (IPL, CPL, Ram Slam), football (FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia, UEFA Euro 2016, FIFA World Events including FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 in India, European and South American Qualifiers for FIFA WC 2018, FIFA Confederations Cup, LaLiga, Serie A, FA Cup, Copa America Centenario, International Champions Cup), tennis (Australian Open, ATP 1000 and 500 World Tour Events, Champions Tennis League), fight Sports(TNA, UFC, Pro Wrestling League), basketball (NBA) as well as NFL and PremierFutsal.
Commenting on the agreement, NP Singh, CEO, SonyPictures Networks India, said, “I welcome TEN Sportsto the Sonyfamily. The Acquisitionof TEN SportsNetwork will strengthen SPN’s offering for viewers of cricket, football and fight sports, complementing our existing portfolio of international and domestic sporting properties. It also aptly demonstrates SPN’s commitment to providing a broad range of sporting entertainment to fans across Indiaand the sub-continent.”
Andy Kaplan, President, Worldwide Networks, SonyPictures Television,insisted, “Indiahas been a strong driver of SonyPictures’ growing networks business for two decades, and Sportscontinue to play a significant role in that growth. The Acquisitionof TEN Sports, following the launch of SonyESPN channels, will mean that our Indian networks would reach over 800 million viewers and broadcast many of the most popular and prestigious sporting events in the world.”
The TEN Sportschannels being acquired include TEN 1, TEN 1 HD, TEN 2, TEN 3, TEN Golf HD, TEN Cricket, TEN Sportsthat operate in several countries including the Indian sub-continent, Maldives, Singapore, Hong Kong, Middle East and the Caribbean.
TEN Sportsholds broadcast rights to major cricket boards (South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe).
In addition, Ten Sportsholds rights to wrestling (WWE), football (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, French League, English Football League Cup), tennis (WTA Events, ATP events), golf (European Tour, Asian Tour, Ryder Cup, US PGA Championship, LPGA Tour, Professional Golf Tour of Indiaand Golf Channel Block), athletics (Asian Games, Commonwealth Games), motor Sports(Moto GP) and cycling (Tour de France) events.
“This is a landmark deal for Zeeand a step towards a strategic portfolio shuffle as we grow our general entertainment business both in the domestic and overseas markets. While we have grown our Sportsbusiness over the last 10 years through Acquisitionof content at competitive prices, our focus now is on transforming ourselves into an all-round media and content company, comprising of five verticals, viz. broadcast, digital, films, live events, and international business; and we continue to move rapidly towards our set business goals,” Punit Goenka, Managing Director, ZeeEntertainmentEnterprises Limited (ZEE) said.
“While I have always been proud of our Sportsbusiness, I strongly believe that Sonywill add more value to it by taking it to even greater heights. I wish them all the success,” he added.