3 December, 2020

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Derana Chairman Dilith Says TNL – Dialog Asia Cup Deal Is ‘Clean’

Amidst speculations that nepotism came in to play in Dialog TV awarding the telecasting rights of the T20 Asia Cup to TNL TV, the Chairman of the channel, Shan Wickremesinghe, has claimed that his channel received the telecasting rights from Dialog after several other television channels had turned down the offer made by Dialog.

Chairman of Derana TV, Dilith Jayaweera

Chairman of Derana TV, Dilith Jayaweera

Shan Wickremesinghe, brother of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe further noted that suddenly everyone is making a big fuss that TNL TV is telecasting the matches. “Call up and ask someone in Ratnapura if they can watch Rupavahini, CSN wasn’t available all over the country but no one spoke then,” he charged.

Wickremesinghe also added that it was his channel that telecasted the 1996 cricket World Cup which Sri Lanka won, as well as the Asian Football tournament among many other sports programmes.

“Dialog received the telecasting rights, and had approached several local television channels to show the matches, however these channels had declined and then we agreed to telecast it on TNL,” he said.

“There is no family involvement as speculated by some. If we had the backing of the government then we could have easily got about 500 advertisements. We have always had difficulties, and we continue to have difficulties, but I assure you there was no favouritism in awarding the telecasting rights to us by Dialog,” Wickremesinghe added.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Ravi Jayawardana

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Ravi Jayawardana

Meanwhile, Chairman of the state-run television, the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Ravi Jayawardana said that his channel made a direct offer to Star TV to obtain the telecasting rights, but it was not accepted, and it was instead given to Dialog TV.

“So we made an offer to Dialog since they don’t have terrestrial TV. But they have given it to TNL. However, we got exclusive rights for the ICC World Cup matches till 2019,” he told Colombo Telegraph.

Chairman of Derana TV, Dilith Jayaweera said that the deal between Dialog TV and TNL was a ‘clean deal’ and the Prime Minister had no involvement in Dialog awarding the telecasting rights to TNL. “I checked and double checked. It is a clean deal between dialog and TNL” he said.

“Dialog even spoke to us, but it was not financially viable to run these matches during prime time, and we would have had to compromise on our regular programmes,” he told Colombo Telegraph.

Jayaweera also added that the financial benefit offered by Dialog was insignificant and hence his channel turned down the offer.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    1

    “I checked and double checked. It is a clean deal between dialog and TNL”, said Dilith J!

    Isn’t this the guy [Edited out]

    If so, his concept of “clean deals” must have serious implications and should not be taken as ‘gospel’!

  • 17
    3

    In a backdrop of PM, lambasting cheaply to media and specially to Derana recently, Dilith seems to be trying hard to save his ass.

    • 10
      1

      Wow! Never had such a hearty laugh in a while.

      Let me get this right.

      [Edited out]

  • 6
    1

    What seems to be the confusion? Who is protecting whom? “I checked and double checked” does not make sense unless the man is infallible. The episode fits though, the general confusion in the yahapalana state of affairs.

  • 8
    5

    Check and double check what? How does he know it is a ‘clean deal”? I am not saying it is not, but just wonder what this guy checked and double checked. Is he privy to all conversations among Ranil, his brother and Dialog?
    What Wickramasinghe is saying seem to contravene what Rupavahini chairman is saying – that he made an offer and the rights have been already given to TNL. This does not look like that they did not want it (as Wickramasinghe mentioned) Further Rupavahini says it has rights to ICC World Cup matches till 2019. Is this not an ICC World Cup match?
    Looks like Jayaweera is trying to get on the good books for RW. Maybe he got a bit scared?

    • 3
      2

      The broadcasting rights in Sri Lanka was obtained by Dialog and not TNL. Celestial broadcasting is done over the Dialog Now (Channel 1) in Dialog TV. However it does not own a terrestrial channel. Hence they had hired TNL to do so.

  • 7
    8

    Ranil Wickramsinghe does not have a history as one doing the right thing.

  • 13
    7

    RW is a clean politician and it is the disgruntled bankrupt politicians and their catchers who want to sling mud at him.

    • 10
      8

      clean politician? huh?! were you living under a rock? batalanda, millennium city and most recently the bank bonds scam just to name a few

      • 4
        2

        dcn is an idot. Im pretty sure, he will say the shit of PM has a good smell.

      • 2
        1

        How much money changed hands at Batalanda, Milennium City? And could you please explain the loss that occurred due to the ‘bond scam’? Most people cannot. Unless you’re insinuating that RW took a cut from all these incidents (get real). I do not think it has ever been insinuated that he is corrupt in that way, by any politician, whatever his other faults may be.

        I suppose it’s a sign of the level politics sank to under MR that we cannot even seem to accept what might be a legitimate deal without allegations of impropriety in some way, shape or form.

        As someone involved in the industry and privy to this deal, I know there was no such thing involved. Simply that no other channel was willing to rearrange its programmes or advertising in order to host a not-so-important cricket match. TNL has one of the lowest viewership rates but highest coverage rates in the country. Thank god you don’t run a business if you cannot understand the advantage to all parties. Good thing you also believe everything you read in the media if you think the Rupavahini chair is accurately represented here.

  • 19
    3

    RW can be anything but he his not a cheat or one to do illegal deals. He will stubbornly protect fraudsters like Arujuna M and people like Ravi K who are crooked to the core but RW is largely a clean politician. The public don’t need Dilith to verify that.

    • 2
      7

      Beg your pardon??? How can you be clean or not do illegal deals when you support people like RK and Mahendra??

      • 8
        0

        Words

        I agree with your point. What I meant is that RW will not do anything for himself or his family’s gain. I can’t understand why he has to protect white collar thrives like Mahendran and RK. I guess he needs the support of a lot of corrupt people to stay in power.

      • 3
        0

        @ words:

        I guess your question would apply equally to those who support people like the Rajapakses (as you did)?

        Just asking!

  • 5
    1

    Having Dilith bless this transaction is equal to having Donald Trump approve the deal. Both are shady racketeers.

    Shan Wickremesinghe should be careful who he calls a friend. With friends like Dilith, who needs enemies..

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