UK-Based Broadcast Firm Asks India to Settle Payment of Rs 250 Crore
The sum is said to be pending as part of Sports Information Services’ contract fee for broadcasting the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games along with Doordarshan.
A United Kingdom-based satellite and broadcast firm has asked the Indian government to pay it Rs 250 crore (£28 million) that has been pending from the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. The company, Sports Information Services (SIS), has written a letter to Indian Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, over the issue, the Times of India reported.
The sum is pending as part of SIS’ contract fee for broadcasting the 2010 CWG together with Doordarshan, which was the host broadcaster. Rathore is also the Indian Minister of state for Information and Broadcasting.
“It’s clearly damaging to India’s standing in the international world of sports and of broadcasting,” SIS chief executive Richard Ames wrote in the two-page letter, according to the report. Ames added that the way in which SIS was treated by the successive Indian governments has triggered concerns in the international broadcast sporting arena.
SIS was also a part of the international coverage of the 2002 Manchester CWG and was the outside broadcast arm of BBC. The Delhi CWG were held in 2010 when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power in India.
“As the CWG (Gold Coast) are once again the center of attention to the world’s sporting media, could I draw your (referring to Rathore) attention to the difficult and embarrassing fact that India has not settled its bill for the 2010 CWG in Delhi. Today, our claim (with interest to date) exceeds £28 million,” wrote Ames, the report said.
Ames added that as India refused to clear the bills after the Delhi CWG, a formal letter of complaint was sent by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin to one of Rathore’s predecessors. However, the payment was not made.
In 2009, Prasar Bharati had entered into a contract with SIS.
The broadcasting sector was engulfed in controversy at the time, with the VK Shunglu committee report alleging financial misappropriation and procedural lapses.
The Central Bureau of Investigation in 2011 conducted raids at the house of BS Lalli, who was the then CEO of Prasar Bharti, after a case was registered against him and others for alleged irregularities in awarding broadcasting rights of Commonwealth Games that reportedly resulted in a loss of Rs 135 crore to the exchequer, India Today reported earlier. The case was filed against Lalli, Zoom Communications director Wasim Dehlvi, and others.
The CBI then filed a closure report in the case, saying that there was lack of criminality on the part of Lalli and Dehlvi.