BCCI upset with Nimbus

Updated: 28 October 2007 12:07 IST

The BCCI is reportedly upset after Nimbus delayed its payment of approximately Rs 130 crore to the board for the recent India-Australia series.

BCCI upset with Nimbus

New Delhi:

The BCCI is reportedly upset after Nimbus delayed its payment of approximately Rs 130 crore to the board for the recent India-Australia series.

In all, $612 million or Rs 2,700 crore is how much Nimbus paid for the right to telecast Indian cricket till 2009.

But with their sports channel NEO sports not managing its distribution well, there is constant speculation that Nimbus could be defaulting on its payments to the BCCI.

A crisis was averted recently with Nimbus just about managing to pay their dues, failing which the board would have invoked the bank guarantee.

Strain in ties

However, both parties insist that it was never a crisis and that Nimbus has now paid the dues.

On their part, industry watchers insist that the BCCI-Nimbus relationship is likely to be strained in the days to come.

This is simply because Nimbus is not managing to earn as much money as they are spending on cricket.

Nimbus currently only reaches 35 to 45 per cent of cable and satellite issues. Earlier this year their distribution deal with Star TV fell through leaving them to go it alone.

The poor connectivity means that Doordarshan, who have rights to show all cricket in India because of a government legislation, is the preferred channel for most people.

Money game

Advertisers obviously aren't happy and are said to be unwilling to pay NEO's rate of Rs 4 lakh per 20 seconds for the upcoming India-Pakistan series.

Contrast that to the Rs 10 lakh per 10 seconds that ESPN managed for the T20 final between India and Pakistan.

However, Nimbus would counter that by saying that the T20 final was exclusively on ESPN since the tournament was only brought under the government's must share clause after the world cup.

But Nimbus have also been given a rebate because this government ruling came after their contract was signed. The BCCI has given them a discount of about Rs 250 crore, which means a reduction of 10 per cent.

Recovering Rs 2,700 crore from approx 23 Tests and 55 ODIs matches over four years was always going to be a tough task for anybody.

However, Nimbus seem to be struggling in particular - poor distribution, poor programming and the must share clause with Doordarshan makes this seem like a losing venture.

No wonder then that everybody is looking out for the day when there is a default in payments.

Topics : Cricket Board of Control for Cricket in India
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