We at Digital Broadcasters Vendor News have carried the announcements earlier that Mumbai-based, Nimbus Sports Broadcast was to start its three channel sports operation.
Like everyone else we were kept in the dark as to distribution.
Now we know. Nimbus Sports Broadcast has appointed STAR India to exclusively distribute its forthcoming 'bouquet' of NEO sports channels.
The first of the digital TV channels, the wall-to-wall Indian Cricket TV channel, NEO SPORTS is set to be launched in the last quarter of 2006. This will be followed by NEO SPORTS Plus, a sports entertainment channel, which is expected to be launched by the end of the year and a third one before 2007.
STAR India has exclusive distribution rights for NEO SPORTS and NEO SPORTS Plus through to 2010 and will also distribute any future sports channels from the NEO SPORTS stable.
With nearly 200 days of cricket every year lined up on NEO SPORTS, of which over 100 days will be live India cricket including all BCCI events and between 3-4 international series every year; the NEO SPORTS channel is expected to reach a majority of the cable & satellite homes, especially since it will be powered by STAR India’s distribution capabilities.
Nimbus holds the v-e-r-y expensive broadcast rights to ICC India games. They needed to have their own channels to carry the extensive airtime - in house as well as deals outside.
Now they have done it with STAR India.
What role will digital satellite broadcaster, ESPN STAR Sports India have to play in all this?
There are other stories on our site on Nimbus and their financing.
So far, no mention has been made at all.