Indian Premiere League’s sticky wicket

Feds investigating alleged TV contract kickbacks

India’s income tax department has raided Sony’s TV unit, World Sports Group and sports marketing company IMG in a probe into TV contracts for the hugely successful Indian Premier League for cricket last year.

The feds are investigating allegations of kickbacks when the TV deals were awarded.

Singapore-based World Sports Group owns the rights and subcontracts to Sony’s MultiScreen Media (previously Sony Entertainment Television). As SET, company had bought 10-year rights to IPL cricket for $918 million in 2008. However, the contract was scrapped last year (Daily Variety, May 25).

MSM agreed to pay $1.63 billion for the rights through 2017 and the feds say as part of that deal, a “facilitation fee” of $80 million was paid to a World Sports Group subsid.

MSM officials were unavailable for comment. World Sports Group and IMG deny any wrongdoing.

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