More Troubles For Zee, Fails To Pay $200 Million Cricket Fee To Disney
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Zee Entertainment Enterprises has missed a deadline to pay $200 million to Walt Disney Co’s India unit for TV rights to cricket matches, as the firm tries to preserve cash ahead of a likely collapse of its mega-merger with Sony Group Corp.
The Mumbai-based media firm didn’t pay the installment due in early January citing a cash crunch, sources said, asking not to be named as the information is not public.
Disney has sought an explanation from Zee on why the payment was skipped, they said, adding the tranche was part of the over $1.4 billion Zee agreed to pay for the license agreement signed in August 2022, Bloomberg reported.
Defaulting on the payment to Disney unit poses fresh headaches for Zee, including possible legal wrangles, even as it deals with the fallout of a collapsing merger with the Sony Group.
Zee hasn’t furnished bank guarantees for the sum that was to be paid as per the contract, according to one of the people familiar with the issue.
Bloomberg News reported on January 8 that Sony was planning to send a deal termination notice to Zee, which said that it was still working toward closing the merger.