The World Sports Group went head-to-head against the BCCI over the termination of the IPL media rights agreement for overseas territories with WSG by the BCCI on June 28, 2010, which was then upheld by the arbitral tribunal consisting of Supreme Court Justices (Retd) Sujatha Manohar, Mukunthakam Sharma and S.S. Nijjar as a result of which the BCCI won Rs 850 crore as the arbitration award.
The matter went into arbitration only when the WSG claimed the profit they would have made had the BCCI not cancelled the agreement midway, also with an intention to claim the damages done by the termination. The panel then called the trio of N Srinivasan, former IPL COO Sundar Raman and former BCCI CAO Prof Ratnakar Shetty. Summons were allegedly sent to former ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar after he failed to attend the court hearings. The BCCI, however, kept their stand claiming it was a fraud.
The BCCI representatives were grilled about the case relating to the facilitation fee of Rs 425 crore over the IPL media rights in 2009, part of which was allegedly paid by Sony to WSG with the alleged involvement of Lalit Modi.
What Exactly Happened :
WSG (Mauritius) that won IPL media rights in a famous 3 am deal with the then IPL commissioner on 15 March 2009 but were unable to find a broadcast partner. MSM (Sony) entered into a facilitation agreement (Rs 425 crore) with WSG (Mauritius) before they won the IPL media rights for Indian subcontinent from BCCI. The overseas rights stayed with WSG but on discovering the facilitation agreement, the board called it ‘improper’ and reclaimed the rights.
Regarding the facilitation fee, Sony agreed to pay Rs 300 crore to the BCCI and another Rs 125 crore after recovering the amount from WSG. In reference to the arbitration, the accrual of interest raised the amount in the escrow account to Rs 850 crore which have been awarded to the BCCI. “It has been proved that Lalit Modi in conspiracy with WSG officials cheated, and defrauded the BCCI,” said the BCCI Representative and Senior Counsel Raghu Raman concluding the case.