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IPL, Sony to sort out operational issues: Modi - Sathish - 02-21-2009

NEW DELHI: Clearing the air on the string of controversies plaguing the upcoming IPL T-20 tournament, IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi, on Friday, said “there is no question of Sony pulling out” of IPL.

We are jointly working with the management team at Sony to address operational issues, and we are confident we will be able to amicably resolve them to the satisfaction of all parties concerned, he said in a statement, adding the resignation of MSM CEO Kunal Dasgupta would not impact the T-20 event. “It’s an internal matter of Sony Corporation. But the organisation, whether it’s Sony or IPL, is bigger than any individual.”

All sponsors and partners remain resolute in their commitment to IPL and not a single partner has pulled out. ”In fact, we have received lot of offers from potential sponsors willing to pay much more for our properties,” he said.

But Reliance-ADAG’s Big TV has already pulled out of its Rs 137-crore deal with IPL as a ground sponsor, which according to reports, led to Mr Dasgupta’s resignation on Thursday. The IPL tournament has been mired in a series of controversies, including the Big TV-Bharti Airtel sponsorship row, Mr Dasgupta’s abrupt resignation, and speculation about whether MSM may lose broadcast rights of the tournament.

The BCCI has alleged that MSM breached agreements with the cricket board on ‘various fronts’. The cricket board has blamed MSM for Big TV pulling out of the Rs 137-crore ground sponsorship deal. Big TV had objected to rival Bharti Airtel DTH picking up on-air sponsorship. There is speculation that BCCI has made a revised offer to Big TV for sponsorship, though this could not be independently verified.

Mr Modi added that it was incorrect that IPL title sponsor DLF had paid up only 50% of what it had agreed upon in a five-year deal worth Rs 200 crore. He also announced that the Deccan Chargers team had chosen Visakhapatnam as the second venue for holding two of its home games in IPL.