The four minority domestic investors of Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India, the Indian arm of the Japanese major, have taken the company to court over disagreements concerning demands on them for more capital.
The capital is mainly needed to finance SET's commitments to the upcoming Indian Premier League tournament, for which the company has won the broadcasting rights with sports marketing and management agency World Sports Group.
The four investors are Shemaroo Entertainment Managing Director Raman Maroo, actor Jackie Shroff, World Media Group Director Sudesh Iyer and MobiApps Holding's Jayesh Parekh.
The minority shareholders collectively own 32 per cent, Sony Pictures 61 per cent and institutions the remaining shares.
SET India, which operates channels like Sony, MAX, SAB TV and AXN, recently asked shareholders to infuse fresh equity of $40 million (Rs 156 crore), which they turned down.
Instead, they have been demanding that their stake be sold through an initial public offer, which the parent company has refused. A case has been filed in the Bombay High Court, terming the capital call illegal. SET India CEO Kunal Das Gupta declined to comment.
The SET India-World Sports consortium won the telecast rights of the Indian Premier League, the twenty20 cricket tournament for $1.026 billion (around Rs 4,000 crore) which includes $108 million (Rs 420 crore) for compulsory promotional spends, for ten years.