Thursday, February 19, 2009


A day after an industry report indicated that Sony Entertainment Television may lose the rights to host the second edition of the Indian Premier League, the broadcast company's CEO Kunal Dasgupta put in his papers on ThursdayWhile the company said in a statement that Dasgupta had quit because of "personal reasons", it is widely believed that he paid the price for the fallout of the sponsorship deal between Multi Screen Media and Big TV which has resulted in a huge monetary loss and for which the BCCI is seeking a compensation to the tune of approximately Rs 137 crore.Dasgupta was CEO of Multi Screen Media, the company that airs channels like Sony Entertainment Television, Max, Sab and Pix. Man Jit Singh, who was appointed Chairman on the Multi Screen Media board in March 2007, then known as SET India, is the interim CEO. Singh, will lead the search for a new CEO.Industry websites, including, on Thursday reported that MSM had an executive committee meeting on Wednesday, where all top nothces of the organisation, including Andy Kaplan, SPTI's President, International Networks, were present.The meeting was held barely hours after Dasgupta told exchange4media, on the sidelines of the ongoing FICCI Frames, that the loss in case of losing the broadcast rights of the IPL was "not quantifiable".He had also confirmed that the problem between the BCCI and MSM was only over finding the right sponsor.

"Yes, because they have lost a lot of money and at present, not too many people are coming forward for the IPL. We have tapped many but they are just not interested since they do not have the monies," Dasgupta was quoted as saying.The report added that the genesis of the problem is the Big TV versus Airtel sponsorship issue. MSM had got Airtel as an on-air sponsor to which Big TV objected and simultaneously withdrew the on-ground deal that it was working at.

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