The Indian Premier League (IPL) has lost out on a $31.16 million (Dh116m) deal spread over four years because of a dispute between Sony, its broadcasters and prime sponsor, and Big TV, a direct-to-home (DTH) provider. Big TV officials have confirmed that they are no longer with IPL and have cited contractual violations as the reason. The reason for the dispute is a separate deal that Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd (MMPL), which holds the IPL contract under the Sony umbrella, has signed with Airtel Digital TV, which is Big TV's rival.
IPL had signed the DTH deal last August with Big TV, which is owned by the Reliance Anil Dhirubai Ambani Group, primarily for on-ground advertising and visibility at match venues. But earlier this year, Sony, which bought the IPL's telecast rights along with World Sport Group for US$ 1.02 billion, struck an on-air advertising deal on its own with Airtel - only Airtel's ads will be shown, in the DTH category, during IPL telecasts.