Nimbus Communications has announced the name of the first of its proposed three dedicated sports Pay TV channels. The new channel will be called Neo Sports, which is expected to launch by the last quarter of 2006. All three channels are expected to be launched between the fourth quarter of 2006 and the third quarter of 2007.
Neo Sports will be anchored by international and domestic cricket matches played in India.
Nimbus Communications’ India operations have been spun off into a new Nimbus-promoted company, Nimbus Sports Broadcast Ltd, while its international operations will be looked after by Nimbus Media Pvt Ltd, which is headquartered in Singapore.
Scott Ferguson has joined Nimbus Media Pvt Ltd in Singapore as COO. He will be heading the sports broadcast operations in Asia. Ferguson brings with him extensive sports broadcasting expertise and multi-cultural experience having headed the sports broadcasting operations at Orbit in the Middle East, prior to which he has had over 20 years’ experience at BBC TV, ITV, Sky and NTL.
Nimbus has commissioned Singapore-based broadcast design company, Brandspeed, for channel branding and design. Brandspeed Director, Jon Griffin, said, “We are thrilled to have been appointed by Nimbus Sports Broadcast to conceptualise, create and produce the identity and on-air branding for Neo Sports. We look at this as an exciting opportunity to put in place a new and dynamic image that will connect and drive home a visionary look for the new channels.”
He further said, “We plan on taking the image in a fresh, clean direction and perhaps pave some new ground to take people out of the traditional, often clichéd image with sports branding – as well as look towards driving the branding home in the most direct way. We are well aware of the immense popularity of cricket in India, as well as some of it’s other key sports, and it is often the over use of graphics and in-your-face-gimmicks, which often clutter the on-air image for many sports channels. Our approach is going to be towards the BMW metaphor – a classy, top-shelf image for the exciting new sports channels.”
Nimbus Communications is pumping in over Rs 300 crore into the first phase of the sports broadcasting business and will invest a further Rs 150 crore in Phase II. As has been previously disclosed, over the last one year Nimbus has secured nearly Rs 340 crore of new financing from 3i & Deutsche Bank.