Cable TV

Nimbus signs on Geo for Pakistan, ARY for Europe & StarHub for Singapore

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NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: It's match on in Nagpur for the first Test between Indian and England and the deals are still being done. India cricket rights holder Nimbus has just signed four-year broadcast deals for the Europe region and the Pakistan and Bangladesh territories with ARY Digital and Pakistan's Geo TV respectively. It has also locked in the Pay TV rights for the territory of Singapore with StarHub.

While the Europe deal is exclusively with ARY Digital, an agreement has also been signed with ARY for the UK territory for cricket feeds with Urdu and Hindi commentary. Sky Broadcasting has exclusive rights for the two England series that come in the four year rights package, one of which is presently on.

Nimbus has also signed on Geo TV, affiliate of Pakistan's largest media conglomerate Jang Group, for the Pakistan and Bangladesh territories. The deal is worth $ 11 million. Information available with Indiantelevision.com indicates that the contract terms were finalised in Mumbai today.

Commenting on the three new deals, Nimbus Sport CEO Digvijay Singh said, "The global appeal of Indian cricket is further demonstrated by the growing family of international licensees. In the days to come we shall announce more licensing deals such that eventually every continent on earth shall have the ability to view the TV pictures of international cricket in India."

For Geo TV, the "BIG ONE" will be Pakistan's tour to India next year. It is pertinent to note that the four-year package that Nimbus has rights to (2006 to 2010) includes only one tour by Pakistan to India.

The Nimbus-ARY deal, reached Tuesday night, will enable ARY Digital to broadcast exclusively in Europe to a sizeable cricket-loving people in places like Italy and Germany. ARY Digital broadcasts through the Hotbird for the Europe region.

For the ongoing India-England cricket series, ARY Digital is likely to do with English commentary for some of the matches, but will go full steam for other series.

The Dubai-based broadcaster, which had originally bid over $ 50 million for the combined UK, Middle East and Pakistan territories, is said to be in the process of putting together a team for the Urdu and Hindi commentary for the UK market, sources familiar with the developments said.

For Geo TV, meanwhile, the strategy for the Bangladesh territory is not clear as yet since Geo has no deals or tie-ups in place with any Bangladeshi broadcaster, informed sources told Indiantelevision.com.

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