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Neo Broadcast America has entered into an agreement with Comcast, USA's largest cable operator, to launch Neo Cricket in several metropolitan markets. With this agreement, USA finally gets a 24/7 cricket channel on cable.
Speaking of Neo Cricket's launch, Comcast's VP for Content Acquisition, David Jensen, said: "Comcast is the first cable provider to bring a 24-7 cricket offering to US cricket fans. Comcast is committed to working with diverse and independent program providers, like Neo Cricket, to deliver multicultural offerings that reflect the wide-ranging interests of our customers.”
Separately, Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) announced that the channel has been launched on Rogers Cable (channel 844). Canadian residents can also preview the channel for a limited time.
Speaking on the occasion, Prasana Krishnan, COO of Neo Sports Broadcast said, "We are bringing Neo Cricket to cricket fans around the world and this agreement marks the first step in our efforts to reach the US market."
"We have built strong brand equity with the Indian consumers by bringing to them the best cricketing action. Now we extend the same to cricket fans in North America," Mr. Krishnan said.
With this launch, Neo have made good on recent statements to the press in which they discussed a roadmap for USA, Canada and Caribbean markets. Vikram Das, SVP for International and Syndication at Nimbus, told SportCal on September 30 that he expects North America to account for around $25 million of Neo Cricket’s annual revenue next year, "of which 90 per cent will be distribution related and 10 per cent advertising."
"We have estimated an immediate potential target audience of 5 million homes. This is a great opportunity. Never before has there been a 24/7 cricket channel in North America."
Neo Cricket owns broadcasting rights for international and domestic cricket in India for the period from April 2010 to March 2014 and Asia Cup until 2014. The channel also features a lineup of high quality programming including Dial C for Cricket, Sportzone, Baat and Bowl, Jaye He, Ballebaaz, Tour Diary, Run and Chase, Cricket Tarka Maarke, Encounter and Once More.