New Delhi:The Indian Premier League (IPL) has sought clarification from Sony on the alleged violation of the first rights for on-air sponsorship to Reliance ADA Group firm BIG TV following the exit of the DTH player from the IPL.
"They have (Big TV) sent us a letter pointing out that there is a violation of their first right of on-air sponsorship. We have asked Sony for a clarification," IPL Chief Executive Officer Sundar Raman said.
BIG TV is understood to have written to the IPL conveying its decision to withdraw from T20 league deal citing discrimination in pricing by Sony.
When contacted Multiscreen Media Pvt Ltd (erstwhile Sony Entertainment Television) President Network Sales Rohit Gupta efused to comment saying, "it is (a matter) between us and IPL".
Big TV had bagged the exclusive DTH partnership for IPL in August last year from the BCCI. Under the partnership, Big TV was a ground sponsor, meaning it would be allowed to advertise only on ground.
Unlike last year, Sony did not offer any category exclusive on-air rights to advertisers for the new IPL season and Airtel DTH was awarded the IPL broadcast on-air sponsorship.
According to the BCCI rules, the first right of refusal for the on-air sponsorship must be offered to the ground rights holder, in this case, Big TV.
Last week, IPL commissioner Lalit Modi had stated that if Sony did go ahead with its deal with rival Airtel DTH, the broadcaster would face 'severe repercussions'.
Big TV officials declined to comment on the issue.