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Nimbus looks to push genre frontiers with Neo Sports Plus

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MUMBAI: Your Gateway to the best sporting action! This is the tagline that Nimbus is using to push its second channel Neo Sports Plus. The channel, which Nimbus says is a sports entertainment offering, has launched today. Sister cricket channel Neo Sports had launched a month back.

Neo Sports Plus will offer content from a variety of sports like soccer, badminton, motorsports. As Nimbus chairman Harish Thawani says, "Some of the recent Indian sporting achievements have come from sports disciplines like golf, tennis and motor racing, to name a few. On the back of these developments we believe that there is potential in building sustained consumer interest in sports beyond cricket amongst Indians in the medium to long term through strategic content and marketing initiatives."

On the soccer front Neo Sports Plus has acquired content from Italy, Germany, Brazil and Argentina through leagues like Bundesliga, Serie A, Copa Suda Americana and Copa Libertadores. In motorsports it has got V8 Supercars and Superbike World Championships. Additionally, the channel is also focussing on badminton through properties like the Sudirman Cup, The Thomas Cup, The Uber Cup and The World Badminton Championship. Thawani says that the sport, despite strong grassroots support in India, has not got the backing of a channel to realise its potential.

Neo Sports Broadcast CEO Shashi Kalathil says that the aim is to build up passion for different sports in the long run. It has sports entertainment concepts on the drawing board. Some shows have gone into production. The channel is looking at chat shows, reality shows, sports serials, game shows, quizzes etc.

Further Neo Sports Plus will also air India cricket in dubbed languages like Hindi. This initiative kicks off this month with the Duleep trophy. Kalathil says that search has been done into what kind of sports entertainment concepts the Indian viewer will like and dislike.

It has already come up with some entertainment shows. One of them is Unbreakable. This focusses on a memorable performance of a batsman or a bowler or a partnership that refused to buckle under pressure. Then there is Test of Strength. This is a daily show that focusses on India's great cricketing moments. When India Beat looks at victories by the Indian cricket team. Neo Sports Rewind provides a crisp look at classic ODIs. Mission Impossible is a one hour show that looks at some of the finest cricket matches. The anchor takes viewers through the match and sees how an individual made the impossible possible.

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