Television

Nimbus, EchoStar sign North America cricket deal

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MUMBAI: One big international territory has already been accounted for - Sky Sports in the UK. Now the US territory is taken as well. Nimbus Sport and EchoStar Satellite last night signed an agreement granting the American DTH telecast major exclusive broadcast rights of Indian cricket from March 2006 to March 2010.

The rights include television, radio and broadband and internet for the territory of North America, including Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean Nations, for all BCCI matches in India from 2006 to 2010. Ten international cricket series and four domestic cricket seasons are included in the package starting with the India v England series that kicks off tomorrow. No financial details of the deal are available.

It is worth noting here that EchoStar was among the nine companies that submitted tenders for India cricket telecast rights (which Nimbus finally won with a $612.18 million composite bid). EchoStar's $35 million tender was for US, Canada, Caribbean all media and for international broadband rights outside India.

Said Michael Kelly, executive vice-president, EchoStar, "EchoStar is pleased to reach an agreement with Nimbus Sport to provide exclusive North American rights to broadcast through radio, television and broadband the Board of Cricket Control India's 2006 - 2010 cricket matches occurring on Indian soil. Already an active distributor of cricket for more than 10 years to the South Asian and cricketing community living in the Americas and the US leader in importing international television channels, EchoStar continues to demonstrate its commitment to the success of the sport of cricket in North America."

Two more sponsors signed

Meanwhile, Nimbus signed two more broadcast sponsors -- General Motors and Indian Oil -- on day two of business discussions. This takes the total signed on to five broadcast sponsors. It had earlier signed Reliance Infocomm, TVS and Coca Cola.

States Raju Udupa, Nimbus - Media Solutions VP, With five of the eight broadcast sponsorship positions already booked, the ODI series inventory over 80 per cent sold out and the Test Series booked over 70 per cent, the market has clearly given a thumbs up to cricket, our choice of platforms and the pragmatic rates we have offered.

It is expected that the last three broadcast sponsorship positions will be contracted in the next couple of days and will come on from the second Test, states an official release from Nimbus.

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