Nimbus to start cricket channel after Indian rights deal

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

MUMBAI, May 16, 2006 (AFP) – Sport marketing company Nimbus Communications said Tuesday it will launch a 24-hour cricket channel for south and east Asia this year after securing global rights for India’s matches until 2010. The channel is due to start broadcasting from October 2006 with the first international series either the seven-nation Afro-Asia Cup or the triangular one-day tournament between Sri Lanka, India and the West Indies.

The channel will be shown in other Asian nations including Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and possibly the Middle East, the company said in a statement.

Nimbus earlier this year secured the right to be the live coverage production company for Indian cricket until 2010, paying a record 612 million US dollars.

But it did not have its own platform to broadcast India’s home series against England earlier this year.

The matches were screened on another network but criticised for missing action because of advertising breaks.

Nimbus chairman Harish Thawani said Tuesday the company had always intended to launch their own channel for the cricket-obsessed South Asian nation.

“India is a slightly senseless country when it comes to cricket… but filling it up creativel