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IPL: HC reserves judgement in Sony-BCCI case
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The Bombay High Court has reserved its judgement in the legal Indian Premier League (IPL) dispute between Multi Screen Media India (formerly Sony Entertainment Television) and the BCCI after hearing both parties on Tuesday.

The High Court has asked BCCI to keep the newly signed deal with World Sports Group (WSG)-Mauritius on hold. Justice S J Kathawala made it clear that till the order is pronounced, BCCI shall not enter into any new agreements on broadcast rights.

BCCI, on March 15, had concluded a new contract for broadcast and other rights for the coming IPL season two with World Sports Group (Mauritius), and terminated its earlier contract with MSM India.

Sony obtained injunction from High Court the same afternoon, restraining BCCI from entering into contracts with third parties. However, the BCCI says that it concluded the contract with WSG before the injunction came.

Iqbal Chagla, the counsel representing MSM India in the court refuted this claim, arguing that the notice of termination, given on Saturday, a non-working day, would have come into effect only on March 16 (Monday).

BCCI counsel, V Tulzapurkar contended that BCCI was earning much more because of the new agreement with WSG. He also said that the contract was terminated because of "quality of broadcasting by Sony was bad".

BCCI also alleged that insertion of graphics and advertisements by Sony led to blocking of view of play during telecast.

For the record, WSG-India Pvt Ltd bought the telecast and production rights of IPL in 2007 for $ 918 million for a period of 10 years and had in turn leased it to Sony Max (from MSM India stable) for five years for a sum that neither party wants to disclose. Sony Max had signed a back-to-back agreement with WSG for the TV broadcast rights, while any new media right would remain with WSG.

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