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BCCI Cancels Nimbus Contract: Reports; Nimbus Issues Statement

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has terminated its contract with Nimbus, the broadcast rights holder which had signed a four-year deal with the board in 2009 for Rs 2,000 crore, reports IBNLive. The report cites sources to confirm that the BCCI will encash the bank guarantee of the same amount. If the reports turn out to be true, telecast of domestic cricket – Ranji Trophy would suffer, since Nimbus holds rights for all domestic broadcasts. However, since there are no International matches scheduled to take place on Indian grounds till the next 10 months, there will be no impact. Also, the BCCI will have 10 months to find a new broadcaster.

– Nimbus was a regular defaulter: Another report from PTI (via NDTV) informs that the decision to scrap the contract was taken unanimously by all BCCI members at a meeting of its working committee, quoting a member on condition of anonymity, who said that Nimbus had been a regular defaulter in terms of payments and hence could not be continued with. He also added that with the  ODI series against West Indies coming to an end, India’s International commitments at home have also concluded.

A DNA report quotes IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla who said that Nimbus had defaulted, and had not made the 50% advance payment for both the England and the West Indies series, which has lead to the cancellation of its contract.

– Conflict of interest with WSH: The PTI report also suggests that the BCCI committee members were upset with Nimbus for promoting World Series Hockey, a city-based premier hockey tournament jointly organized by the Indian Hockey Federation and Nimbus, during cricket air-time and making cricket commentators interact with hockey players during match breaks.

– Seeking a bargain with chances of Ind-Pak Series looking bleak: Another report in the DNA mentions that there is talk in the BCCI circles that suggests that Nimbus was not happy since the Board did not give any assurance on the India-Pakistan series that is slated to take place in March-April next year and was giving veiled threats to the Board demanding a review of its entire deal with the board if the series were to get cancelled. The report suggests that Nimbus was unwilling to release the full payment for the England and West Indies series, and was insisting that the adjustments be made to the amount it has to pay since chances of the India-Pak series taking place were bleak because of  political and diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

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– Nimbus statement: Nimbus has issued a statement where it has said that the confidentiality provisions of the contract prevent it from discussing any details with the media but can confirm that it acted in compliance with its contractual obligations and variations agreed between the parties from time to time. It did however state that it had fully reserved all its rights and options, including invoking the arbitration process if there is a need. The full text of the statement:

” Nimbus Communications Ltd (Nimbus) has seen reports in the media in relation to cricket rights licensed to Nimbus by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Given the confidentiality provisions of such contracts, Nimbus is unable to discuss details with the media, but can confirm that it has acted in compliance of its contractual obligations and variations agreed between the parties from time to time.

Nimbus is working towards achieving full resolution of any differences that may have arisen between the parties and is hopeful of a reasoned conclusion of these in the coming weeks.

Obviously, it has fully reserved all its rights and options, including invoking the arbitration process if need be.

No further statement will be made by Nimbus in this regard till its discussions with BCCI are concluded in the coming weeks. “

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