Sony Pictures Networks India is buying Ten Sports Network from Zee Entertainment Enterprises for $385 million, in a deal expected to boost Sony's domestic and international sports portfolio.
Ten Sports operates a host of Ten-branded sports channels including as Ten 1, Ten 2, Ten Cricket and Ten Sports, across India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Middle East, and the Caribbean. Additionally, the deal will also bring a number of tournaments such as English Football League Cup, Moto GP, Tour de France and rights to major sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games to Sony.
Zee's portfolio complements Sony's offerings in cricket, football and fight sports, NP Singh, CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India, said in a statement.
"The acquisition of TEN Sports, following the launch of Sony ESPN channels, will mean that our Indian networks would reach over 800 million viewers and broadcast many of the most popular and prestigious sporting events in the world," Andy Kaplan, president, Worldwide Networks, Sony Pictures, said in the statement.
For Zee, the deal marks an exit from a division, which posted a loss of Rs 37.2 crores in 2015-1016. In that year, Zee sports business made up about 10.79% of the overall Zee Entertainment revenue, reported Mint.
Punit Goenka, managing director, Zee Entertainment, termed the transaction a "landmark deal," saying it is part of a "strategic portfolio shuffle" at Zee, which is looking to focus on broadcasting, digital, films, live events, and international business. It has grown the sports portfolio through a number of acquisitions.
The deal, expected to close over the next several months, is subject to regulatory approvals and may take several months to close.