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October 27, 2009

ContentSutra interview with Nimbus' Harish Thawani

ContentSutra interviewed Nimbus Communications' Chairman Harish Thawani, in the context of the PE-backed firm's renewal of its contract to broadcast test and one-day cricket matches played in India.

What is the per match rate you are paying and is the case that this time there are fewer matches?

Again, it depends on the exchange rate and other factors, but it is about Rs31 crore. The number of matches are about 15% lower at this stage. The schedule is subject to change and we have left enough flexibility in the deal to work around future changes.

What does the deal mean for Nimbus? Are you looking to raise cash?

We are not looking to raise money. We had a third round of investments in 2009 by our existing investors 3I, Cisco and Oman International Fund. The focus is on growing Neo Cricket. The channel will soon be available also in Europe and North America. We already have a very strong presence across Asia. We are also planning two new channels.

Do you think that ODIs will suffer due to the popularity of the 20/20 format?

That is the biggest myth ever. Cricket between countries have a 150-year history. You cannot replace that with a few seasons of a new format. The fad of 20/20 cricket will pass. Ratings show that IPL season 2 was 17% lower than the first edition. And you know what is happening with Champions League T20. So there is no question about diminishing popularity of ODIs.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at