India news December 13, 2011

Nimbus says it complied with contractual obligations

ESPNcricinfo staff

A day after the BCCI reportedly terminated its contract with Nimbus Communications, the rights holders for cricket in India, there has still been no official statement from the board or Nimbus on whether their agreement has, in fact, been cancelled.

Nimbus, one of India's leading television marketing companies, did release a statement but said it could not discuss details of its contract with the BCCI. The statement said Nimbus could only "confirm that it has acted in compliance of its contractual obligations and variations agreed between the parties from time to time." One of the reported reasons for cancelling the contract, which was to run till 2014, was that Nimbus had run into issues regarding payments.

The company had reportedly asked the BCCI for an extension on their payment deadline recently. The board turned down the request and decided to scrap their deal at its working committee meeting in New Delhi on Monday.

Despite news of the termination of its contract, Nimbus' cricket channel Neo Cricket telecast the first day of the Ranji Trophy match between Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, though not the second day's play on Wednesday*. A BCCI official revealed that the board would begin discussions with Nimbus soon to ensure that Ranji Trophy games could be telecast until the end of the tournament on January 23. The BCCI owns the production rights of its domestic matches and has a separate deal with Nimbus to produce the live TV footage of domestic matches. Under this deal, Nimbus receives payment by the board.

The reports of the termination of the BCCI's contract with Nimbus has no direct effect on television coverage of India's international matches at home. The team's engagements in India have concluded for the next ten-odd months; the lengthy gap between the final ODI against West Indies and India's next scheduled home series in September, 2012 would give the BCCI plenty of time to solicit fresh bids for the India rights.

The first sign of payment problems with regard to television coverage of Indian cricket began this season on October 14. The telecast of the one-day international between India and England in Hyderabad started after three overs had already been bowled. This was due to a dispute over the payment of a bank guarantee from Neo Sports, Nimbus' channel, to Prasar Bharati, the government agency responsible for uplinking live telecasts out of India.

Nimbus also said it was working to resolve its differences with the board and was hopeful of reaching a solution over the next few weeks. At the same time, the company said it has "fully reserved all its rights and options, including of invoking the arbitration process if need be."

In January 2010, Nimbus was awarded Indian cricket broadcast rights for four years, its second consecutive four-year deal with the Indian board. The agreement was valued at approximately Rs 2000 crore (then $436 million) for a minimum of 64 international matches and 312 days of domestic cricket until 2014.

Nimbus also held the broadcasting rights for the previous four years, for which it paid $612 million - subsequently negotiated to $549 million - in February 2006.

*The story has been edited to include the fact that there was no broadcast of the Ranji Trophy on Neo Cricket on Wednesday, December 14.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Satish on December 15, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    @no_second_chance_for_batsman : I do agree BCCI is arrogant but its arrogance is the thing which is keeping the game cricket alive.. 1. DRS is a system of using very inaccurate technology for huge price(5000$ per day. .R u kidding?) and it is the BCCI money(As holder of 70% of revenue of ICC) which is going to be wasted for it.. Would u give ur money to get backstabbed by a bad technology? 2. If BCCI is given to govt., our players need to go in auto with cups in hands. Atleast cricketers are paid well and handled well.. Lets be happy about it.. 3. Misusing muscle power!! They should be the boss buddy because they are the one who are making the game survive.. They deserve to use the power.. We lived with power in wrong hands until now and just now, the smaller boards are having some say in the functioning of ICC and BCCI should be hailed for it...

  • P Subramani on December 14, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    I am happy that this contract has been cancelled. I only hope that the Sony Max does not get it because we will be seeing more of SRK than a cricketig Khan if that happenned.

  • Senthil on December 14, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    Stop demonizing the BCCI. Everyone has business obligations and the BCCI has done a very good job of running itself and taking care of its fraternity. No way it should come under the government purview of any kind. Arrogance against DRS? Saw how crappy the DRS was in England? As for Nimbus, enough of their lousy telecast standards. Way better than Durdarshan, but a long way to go before being world class.

  • Sakthi on December 14, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Whoever says BCCI should comes under Sports Ministry then tell me how CWG spanned. How Hockey in India going bad to worst. BCCI doing a great job. If they were not strict then Indian cricket also goes down as WI, SL , PAK.

  • Himanshu on December 14, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    BCCI is over confident that it can do anything it wants. It is only a matter of time that some top BCCI bosses get the kick, and BCCI is forced to comply with Sports ministry's directives in its running. BCCI must understand that cricket in India is not because of them. BCCI exists because of the Indian Cricket.

  • Srinivas on December 14, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    If this is true, good riddance! Neo Sports is just horrible. The commercials running parallel when the match is in progress is the lowest of lows. If at all anything happens off the last ball, you can't get a replay until the commercial break is finished. It's not until the bowler is half-way in his run-up, that the match will be resumed. Shame! Atroticous!! Hope some professional outfit gets the deal. Can't wait. And also, those half clad women in fake US and British accents, imported from, God knows from where, in bikinis and monokinis are a huge put-off. Good riddance, I say!

  • Rahul on December 13, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    it is very good that bcci cancelled deal with nimbous sports group. it is better that bcci start a TV Chanel or give it to doordarshan. after 2008 doordarshan not transmitted test match happening in india in live through doordarshan(even though deal given to any one ,doordarshan should be given enough powe to transmit test,onday,t20 happening india (and indian team is playing). as a business part give it to espnstarsports group. in early 2007 when neo get the deal they are not willing to share it with doordarshan and the first match against westindise were misse and all other match was transmitted 30 minute delay during that time nwo was not available.and most of the people in india missed sourav gnguley's comeback in onday cricket and his score of 99runs.

  • Kumar on December 13, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    BCCI arrogance days r numbered !....Irrespective of Nimbus deal....lets see if it happens or not... Arrogance against DRS, misusing Muscle power, don't want Govt to intervene...lets see what happens in future!...cheers, kumar

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