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Negotiations betwen IPL and Sony fail
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Talks between the IPL and Sony, aimed at reaching an out-of-court settlement after the league terminated its contract with Sony last week, have failed. The matter is currently being heard by Bombay High Court but it is likely the BCCI's Twenty20 league will have a new broadcaster from this season.

Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, told Cricinfo the talks failed because Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd (MSM), which holds the IPL contract under the Sony umbrella, wanted a non-terminable contract, which the BCCI/IPL refused to provide. "We had agreed on various commercial terms but if we agree to a non-terminable contract we cannot terminate the arrangement even in case of a serious breach," Modi said. "No one can accept that." Rohit Gupta, president of network sales at Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd, refused to comment on the development.

Apparently, MSM was prepared to compensate the IPL for further violations of contract, if any, but the league did not agree.

Sony had leased the IPL's subcontinent broadcast rights last year from WSG (India), who had won an original ten-year bid for US $1.02 billion. But the IPL terminated Sony's contract on Saturday night after claiming the broadcaster had repeatedly violated the integrity of telecast by prematurely cutting to breaks and inserting commercials during a live match, replays and other on-field action. Early on Sunday morning, the league signed a fresh telecast contract with WSG (Mauritius) even as Sony appealed against the termination order to Bombay High Court which issued a freeze on any such arrangement till the dispute was resolved. The court will determine if the IPL's decision to terminate Sony's contract is legitimate.

However, the BCCI/IPL continues to maintain that the new deal with WSG-Mauritius is still valid as it was signed before they received the freeze order issued by the court.

The IPL's relationship with Sony had turned rocky last month after the IPL lost out on a US $31.16 million deal because of a dispute between Sony and Big TV, a direct-to-home provider. Ties between the two dipped further after the subsequent resignation of Kunal Dasgupta, the then Sony CEO, who was known to be close to Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman.

Sony is also understood to have been keen on renegotiating the financial terms of its contract with the IPL and had concerns about the tournament's revised dates and some of the venues that were being considered.

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