Neo acquires rights to national team football tournament

Indian pay-television broadcaster Neo Sports, owned by the Nimbus Communications agency, has acquired live rights to the 2012 Nehru Cup, a national team football tournament.

Neo is paying Rs5-10 million (€73,000-€146,000/$90,000-$180,000) in a deal with the organisers the All India Football Federation and its commercial partner IMG Reliance, the joint venture between the IMG agency and Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, according to the Indiantelevision.com website.

This year’s tournament involves India, the Maldives, Syria, Nepal and Cameroon, and will take place from August 22 to September 2. The tournament will be played in a round-robin league format, with the top two teams contesting the final. Neo Sports will show live coverage of all 11 matches.

Neo Sports chief operating officer Prasana Krishnan said: “Neo Sports has added yet another key event to our extensive football line up with the Nehru Cup. TV ratings for football in India are growing exponentially, evident with the success of Uefa Euro 2012 on Neo Prime. With the Nehru Cup being India’s only international football tournament, it is sure to garner high viewership. We look forward to serving Indian football fans with top class coverage of this celebrated event.”

IMG Reliance chief operating officer Ashu Jindal said: “With 2012 being the Platinum Jubilee of the AIFF and India returning as defending champions, we are extremely pleased to partner with Neo Sports for the broadcast of this historic edition of the Nehru Cup. This is a key tournament in our vision to radically restructure and popularise football in India. With double the prize money and an extensive production plan, the event will be bigger and grander.”