Sucheta Dalal :Alagh 3-- Media Transactions
Sucheta Dalal

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Alagh 3-- Media Transactions  

July 1, 2003


1. CINEVISTA COMMUNICATIONS – From 1998 to 2001- Rs 445 lacs 

Mr. Sunil Mehta and Mr. Prem Kishen, Directors in Cinevista are close friend of MR. Sunil Alagh, Mrs. Maya Alagh also stars in their scripts on a regular basis. 

BIL had entered into an Agreement with Cinevista Communication on 15.5.1998 for sponsoring Noorjehan – a serial produced by them with Mrs. Maya Alagh in a lead rule, scheduled to be telecast on DDI- National Network, with airtime worth Rs. 217.5 lacs. 

There was no requirement for Britannia to sponsor such large amounts on one programs. This was done only on the insistence of the Managing Director. 

The program did not go on air as scheduled in Dec ’98. However, we had already paid Rs. 51 lacs as advance till July’98. As there was no sign of Noorjehan going on air, we were forced to liquidate this advance on their other programs, which was a force-fit supposed to reimburse the advance paid with 24% Interest p.a. But We again started releasing advances from Feb’99. The commencement of Noorjehan was confirmed by DD1 w.e.f. Septembers 1999. By that time we had already released an additional advance of Rs. 153 lacs and the agreement was re-done to ratify the advance paid without even a single episode being aired. As our original commitment was for Rs. 212.5 lacs. We released this balance of Rs 55 lacs during Jan’00. The balance in our books pest utilisation of telecast time showed Rs. 124.5 lacs at that stage. 

Cinevista went in for a public issues in Feb’00. 

Cinevista again requested for an additional commitment and an advance of Rs. 201.45 lacs during March 2000. After deducting the interest component. BIL Paid Rs. 115.64 lacs. 

The advance is Cinevista in March’00, past the public Issue in Feb’00, stood at Rs 254 lacs. This advance was probably given to make Cinevista’s balance sheet look good. The total turnover of Cinevista was Rs. 4392 lac of which BIL’s commitment was Rs. 400 Lacs (10%). 

Till December’00 BIL could utilize only Rs. 124 lacs on 18.12.2000. Cinevista wrote to BIL to liquidate the balance advance of Rs. 130 lacs by March 2001, as agreed by Mr. Alagh. As it did not make media sense to spend that much money on one program in three months, we did not implement the same. 

From January 2001, Noorjehan went off-air due to restrictions imposed by DD. By June’01. We could liquidates another Rs. 67 lacs on their other programs and production house facilities, which in normal course we wouldn’t have done. 

By July’01, we had a balance of Rs. 63.3 lacs is advance. There was no program of Cinevista available for direct consumption. However, they were supplying programs to other satellite channels. STAR, under pressure had agreed to our request of adjusting our advance with Cinevista against the software supplied by them. We got a letter them Cinevista authorising STAR to adjust our advance against their payment for their software. 

Cinevista did not agree for interest deduction of Rs. 16 lacs and gave us credit only for Rs. 185.64 lacs against Rs. 201.45 lacs. A net interest has of Rs. 30 Lacs approx. 

Finally the total amount was adjusted on 10.4.2002 after two years. 


2. India Today: 2003 – Rs. 35 lacs 

Based on our MD’s instruction BIL HAD COMMITED THIS AMOUNT TO living Media in the language editions of India Today. 

Though the deal was very efficient on a stand alone basis BIL did not have any requirement at that Time. Therefore, we had to force-fit the advertisements that appeared. 

During this period, there was a cover story done by Business Today on Mr. Alagh 


3. MAMTA KA ANGAN 2001- Rs. 10.8 lacs 

This programmes was aired on Saturday on DDI anchored by Mrs. Maya Alagh. We had taken 30 second spots per week for 13 weeks and also paid for dubbing cost. 

Initially they offered a rate of Rs. 15000/10 sec. At the end of 13 weeks, they asked us to review. But the program was not doing well and we did not continue. However, they offered a reviewed proposal of 1:1 bonus at Rs. 12,000/- per 10 Secs for which we committed 6 weeks. The Total commitment was a force-fit and takes only because the Managing Director’s wife was the anchor. 


4. LOKMAAT From 2000 to 2001 Rs. 25 lacs.  

Mr. Vijay Darda is the Chairman of Lokmat Group of Newspaper Member of Parliament –Rajya Sabha and a close friend of our MD. 

Based on his request, our MD approved Rs. 25 lacs billing to Lokmat Group, a local language paper. This was force-fit and not part of BIL’s advertising plan. 

However, to honour our MD’s commitment we took a 5xICC space on the front page in all the above publications for 169 days in one year. 

Also has a sending instructions, we take their Diwali issue every year at Rs. 1 lac. 


5. ROZANA-DD2 2003 Rs. 3.33 lacs 

Mr Rajeev R Shukla is the person behind this company’s news and current affairs programme. He is knows to Mr. Alagh. 

This is current affairs program on DD Metro. This was offered to us at Rs. 10000/- per 10 secs. We made a commitment is for 13 weeks, based on Mr. Alagh’s verbal directive to the GM. Sales and Marketing a Negotiated rate of Rs 3000/- per 10 secs. The total commitment is for Rs. 3.51 lacs. 


6. ZEE TV From 2001 to 2003 Rs. 365 lacs 

Mr. Sandeep Goel, the then CEO and his representation to Mr. Alagh we had committed to Zee TV Rs. 400 lacs for the period May ’01-Mar ’02. This was not in the initial media plan of BIL. We paid Rs. 150 Lacs as advance to Zee. We have never paid a channel in advance on such a deal. 

This commitment was made at a cent for Rating Points (CFRP) of Rs. 13130. This was a very high CPRP, that we look the same as we got 50-50 branding on Aap Jo Bole for 26 weeks. We also had an exist clause based on the Program Performance. 

As the channel’s performance was not improving it was very difficult for Zee to stick to the CPRP linked deal, as most of the airtime was going on compensation. Therefore, In Jan ’02, Zee decided in stop CPRP linked deals and offered a fresh package. The revised deal for the balance amount of Rs. 180 lacs was offered at Rs. 52941/- per 10 secs. (Rs. 2900 CPRP). However, we insisted for the old CPRP. 

In the meantime, the channel was planning a new program “Jeena isi ka naam hai”, a celebrity show. At this time, we had an option to exit from our commitment to Zee TV. However, on she insistence of the Managing Director, We revoked the old deal. We increased our commitment from Rs. 180 to Rs. 250 lacs, but at a substantially higher CPRP of Rs. 11740/- vs. Rs. 5950/- as we were getting branding on the above programme (Jeena isi Ka Naam Hai). Though this deal was struck at a competitive rate, there was so need to have made such a large commitment on this program, as this was way above our marketing needs on this channel as also on this one program. 


7. LATA SHOW ON ZEE 2002 Rs. 25 lacs. 

Based on MD’s instructions, we had taken the Lata Mangeshkar show on Zee. This was however subverted under the main deal to utilize part of the balance remaining from our commitment to Zee. The ground event was attended by Mr. & Mrs. Alagh on Zee’s invitation at Hyderabad. 


8. MOTHER’98 1997 Rs. 10 lacs 

Sawan Kumar Productions: 

We had agreed to sponsor their film “Mother’98” The total amount of sponsoring was Rs 25 lacs. This was scheduled to be paid as Rs. 10 lacs on signing the agreement, Rs. 5 lacs once the movie completes 8 week of continuous running and Rs 10 lacs in case it completes 10 weeks of continuous run in major metros. The film got released after one and a half year. As the film flopped miserably, we did not pay the balance Rs. 15 lacs. 

The amount of Rs. 10 lacs was lying as advance in our books for a period of 4 years and an audit objection was raised on the same. As we had no option, we wrote this advance off in our books as a full and final settlement of the above contract.


-- Sucheta Dalal