Neo Sports for Sale?


For founder-promoter Harish Thawani, fresh trouble is brewing. TheOneAlliance, the brand of the joint venture company between Multi Screen Media (MSM) and Discovery, has terminated the distribution contract of Neo Sports Broadcast’s two sports channels.

“We terminated the contract with Neo Broadcast on 3 January. We had specifically mentioned in the contract that the deal would be valid if Neo had the BCCI rights. We have communicated to them about the scrapping of the contract,” MSM Discovery president Rajesh Kaul told, without disclosing the size of the contract.

“After deciding to end the distribution contract, it is highly unlikely that Sony will look at buying Neo. The Times of India Group may be a contender. Or even Mukesh Ambani via Network18. These are entities who could be looking at entering the sports broadcasting market. But the big debate could be valuation,” said a media analyst.

It seems Indian Sports broadcasting would see rise of new sports broadcaster in 2012 after Nimbus/Neo was out of BCCI boat. It would really be interesting if group like Times Network (who runs channel like Times Now, ET Now, Zoom and Movies Now) or Network 18 (who runs channels like CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18 along with Hindi news channels and soon to start newly acquired channels from ETV) would own Neo channels. Or would Neo bounce back?

Also interesting to see who gets BCCI rights for Cricket broadcast right for all Internation and Domestic matches played in India (hosted by BCCI).

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