Zee acquires 50% stake in Ten Sports

MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms Ltd. and Taj TV Ltd. have inked a deal wherein Zee has agreed to acquire a 50 per cent stake in the Dubai based sports channel, Ten Sports. The investment is based on an enterprise value of $114 million (Rs 513 crores).


Ten Sports has rights to cricket properties like Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket Board and the West Indies Cricket Board. These rights combined with the BCCI neutral venue rights that Zee Sports has, creates the single largest repertoire of cricket programming.


Among the other sports, Ten Sports also has rights to the UEFA Champions League, WWE, US Open and Hockey World Cup. Zee Sports also has the rights to Indian football, Davis Cup, WTA, Italian Serie A. Both the sports channels will be able to leverage these properties to its maximum potential across both the platforms.


Ten Sports, which is headquartered in Dubai Media City, also operates separate beams in the Middle East, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Hong Kong. This combined with the Indian presence of Zee Sports, makes the combination a true pan-Asian player in the arena of sports broadcasting.


Zee Telefilms Ltd chairman Subhash Chandra said, “This acquisition is an important step from Zee towards consolidation in the media industry. We are confident that this will add significant value for the shareholders of Zee. The acquisition of a stake in Ten Sports not only gives us a strong foothold in the arena of sports broadcasting across Asia but also strengthens our operations in the Middle East. I have known Mr Abdul Rahman Bukhatir for sometime now and have the greatest respect for him as a businessman and his leadership as one of the most successful conglomerates in the Middle East and more particularly the achievements that he has had in the areas of manufacturing, retail, construction, and especially the way he has popularized cricket in the Middle East. I am certain that our joint partnership will result in a mutually beneficial relationship.”


Ten Sports promoter Abdul Rahman Bukhatir said, “I am very proud of the success we have been able to achieve with Ten Sports. Sports television is an extremely challenging business, and yet we have in a short time established ourselves as a major player. I believe that we will now take Ten Sports to unprecedented heights by joining hands with Zee and Mr Subhash Chandra. I have the utmost respect for him as a business man and I have been very impressed by the leadership position he and his team have staked out in every line of the media business, from content to cable to DTH to international. Ultimately, I see our partnership as one which will change the industry.”


Zee Sports and Ten Sports will be able to draw significant amount of synergies from each other in operating in the Asian market place.


Zee Sports business head Himanshu Mody said, “The addition of Ten Sports gives us a significant strength enabling further effective exploitation of all our sports properties. The operational synergies between Zee Sports and Ten Sports would be tremendous and we should be able to run the two channels at much better economies of scale.”


Ten Sports CEO Chris McDonald added, “As has been reported on many occasions, we had been in discussions with various potential strategic investors. Without question Zee, Asia’s premier media concern, is the right choice for us. They bring much strength to our business, and I am very excited to immediately work with Himanshu Mody and his team to turn the great potential of our partnership into reality.”


Following this move the Taj TV financial statements shall be consolidated on a line by line basis in Zee’s books. Taj TV’s average annual revenues for the next three financial years will stand at approximately $50 million, whist the average EBITDA for the next three financial years will be approximately $14 million.