Minister of Mass Media Bandula Gunawardena yesterday said that Channel Eye was leased out to Lyca Mobile Group on a short-term lease agreement and refuted claims that the Cabinet Paper in this regard was rejected.
He told the weekly Cabinet briefing that the decision to lease out the loss-making Channel Eye was taken following a decision taken by the Director Board with his approval as the subject minister.
The Minister said only the airtime of the Channel was leased out to Lyca Mobile Group only for telecasting sports events at a payment of Rs. 25 million per month.
Refuting media reports that the Cabinet Paper presented on Monday in this regard was rejected, he said the Cabinet opined that no Cabinet Paper was required as the Director Board was authorized to take decisions on commercial activities and therefore he withdrew the Cabinet Paper.
He said the channel was leased out to Lyca Mobile as there was no other proposal initially.
He said plans were being made to lease out Chanel Eye on a long-term lease agreement of two years for telecasting sports and entertainment and that tenders would be called in this regard once the Director Board approves the proposal.
Former NPP MP Nalinda Jayatissa said that State-owned Channel Eye had been secretly sold to VIS Broadcasting (Pvt.) Ltd. for Rs 250 million per month effective for six months from June 30.(Ajith Siriwardana)