ZEE to buy stake in Ten Sports?

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Could a strategic alliance between ZEE Network and Ten Sports be on the anvil soon? Well, according to a report on Money Control, this looks likely than ever.

CNBC-TV18 learns that ZEE is in talks to acquire stake in Dubai-based sports channel Ten Sports. CNBC-TV18 reports that such a deal could bring both channels back into the sports limelight.

A deal that’s been brewing for the last two years. Dubai-based Ten Sports has been itching to stitch up an equity stake sale with other media companies but nothing has come through because of valuation differences. Now CNBC-TV18 learns that ZEE could be courting Ten Sports yet again! This time around, both companies need each other for different reasons.

ZEE’s sports business has looked weak after it lost out to Nimbus in the battle for telecast rights to cricket played in India. The tie up would help as Ten Sports has telecast rights to cricket played in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies.

Ten Sports, owned by Sharjah cricket moghul Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, could require the tie up for joint bidding of sports properties and distribution of the channel. When contacted, both ZEE and Ten Sports denied such a deal though Ten Sports admitted that talks have been on with various companies.

The association could rearrange rankings in the sports channels space. Nimbus, which is scheduled to launch its own sports channels currently has the most valuable sports property in India – the BCCI telecast rights, while Sony has rights to the World Cup and Champions Trophy. The possible ZEE-Ten Sports alliance could prove to be a threat to ESPN Star Sports.

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