Nimbus to bowl over new markets with IPL telecast

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Football playing countries in South America and Europe will get a chance to watch the next season of the IPL matches courtesy Nimbus Communications, the official global broadcaster for the IPL, through its Neo Cricket channel.

“We are considering taking Neo Cricket to Europe by the next season of IPL and even countries in South America which do not show cricket. After all there are small communities of cricket lovers in these markets,'' said Mr Harish Thawani, Chairman, Nimbus Communications.

Neo Cricket is planning a tie-up with cable operator networks in these countries to beam the IPL matches, much along the lines of what it has been doing in the markets of the US (Comcast) and Canada (Rogers cable channel).

In South America, the countries being targeted for the IPL are Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela, while in Europe it would be countries such as Spain, Holland, Germany and even Belgium where IPL matches are likely to make their broadcasting debut.

Global revenues

The Rs 800-crore Nimbus Communications, which runs the sports channels through its subsidiary company – Neo Broadcast, is expecting its global broadcasting revenues to reach Rs 70 crore this IPL season. The addition of new markets and territories should see the global revenues reaching almost Rs 350 crore in the next four years.

Giving some trends on the global viewership of the IPL matches, Mr Thawani said, “Amongst the three largest markets of the UK, the US and Canada, viewership is the highest in the UK as it is a free-to-air channel. However, in terms of revenues, it is the US market which is the largest followed by Canada and the UK.''

Nimbus is also reaching the IPL matches through licensing deals with local operators in countries such as Fiji (Pacific Broadcast Group), the Philippines (Sky Cable), Republic of Ireland (Setanta), and Malaysia (Astro). In fact, local licensing deals prove to be a better business proposition compared to setting up independent broadcasting operations as the latter involves the onus of generating local revenues.

IPL's global Internet, mobile and radio rights, along with global television rights (except Asia) have been awarded to a consortium led by Nimbus Communications and Times Internet Ltd for Rs 261.6 crore for four years till 2014.

In the past, it was the Singapore-based World Sport Group which had bagged the global media rights for the IPL. The deal has been subsequently dissolved after the clean-up operations of the IPL post the third season of the tournament.

Published on April 20, 2011

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