DSPORT, Viacom18 to share TV rights for NIDHAS Trophy | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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NidahasTrophy 1 Feb 2018Discovery's Indian sports channel DSPORT has agreed a rights sharing deal with broadcaster Viacom18 to cover live cricketing action from the upcoming NIDAHAS Trophy 2018.

The tri-nation series between Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka will be aired live with English commentary on DSPORT, while Viacom18 channels Rishtey Cineplex and Cineplex HD will feature Hindi commentary. The deal marks Viacom18's entry into international sports event broadcasting, and the first tie-up of this kind by Indian broadcasters.

DSPORT said the reach of around 460 million viewers offered by movie channel Rishtey Cineplex will greatly expand the audience for the cricket tournament, which begins with on 6 March with India facing Sri Lanka in Colombo.

"Sports broadcasting is a bit of a business conundrum - it represents a sizeable opportunity, but the cost of entry tends to be prohibitive. It has been a white space that we have continuously been evaluating and this association with DSPORT to air the NIDAHAS tri series provides us with a fertile testing ground. As we endeavour to test waters with our very first broadcast of an international sporting property, what better than a cricket tri series involving the national team," said Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO, Viacom18.

Raj Nayak, COO, DSPORT, added: "The future belongs to collaborative broadcasting and this association between Discovery's DSPORT and Viacom18's Rishtey Cineplex is a pioneering initiative that seeks to broaden the horizon of sports broadcasting in India.

"Cricket is much more than a sport in this country - it is an emotion. With this collaboration, we will be taking this emotion to more than 460 million additional viewers in India."

The NIDAHAS trophy celebrates 70 years of Sri Lanka's independence. As such it "holds a special significance and we expect a keenly fought contest between India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh," said DSPORT's business head T S Panesar.