Nimbus goes online with cricket, film portals

By Tarana Khan , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 05, 2008
The portals will have a mix of free and subscription based content for streaming videos

Media company & #BANNER1 & # Nimbus Communications has marked its presence in the online space with the launch of two Internet portals, and

Speaking to afaqs! about the move into digital media, Sumit Luthra, vice-president for new media, Nimbus Communications, says, "We realise that new media is the emerging platform of the future. Today, people are looking for entertainment beyond television, which is one way communication. We want to capture that audience through our portals, which allow two way communication to take place."
The cricket site will offer live streaming of cricket matches apart from archived videos. There is a video on demand (VOD) service using which members can watch the latest matches at any time. The site will also have a video scoreboard and news from the cricketing world.

Registered members can interact and share their passion for cricket through forums and blogs. Luthra adds that the site will soon have a downloadable application, which will allow people watching a live match to chat with each other.

A subscription fee will be charged for the live streaming of cricket matches and the VOD service; this fee will start at Rs 50 for Indians and $5 for NRIs. Luthra says that the site has attracted significant interest from NRI audiences in a ratio of almost half.

CricketNirvana has been live for two months and has already attracted 10 million page views, a million unique visitors and 75,000 registered users, claims Luthra.

The company hopes to build buzz around the site with the upcoming Tri-Nation Series, which will be streamed live online. Luthra expects traffic on the site to triple during the series. It may be recalled that Nimbus Communications has bought the global media rights (terrestrial and global satellite TV, radio and broadband) for cricket in India up to 2010, in a bid that cost it $612 million (Rs 2,600 crore).

Though Nimbus New Media, the broadband and wireless division of the company, has its in-house content team, it will source video content from the company's TV channels, Neo Sports and Neo Cricket.
On the FilmNirvana site, visitors can view exclusive videos from Bollywood. The company plans to launch an online talent hunt on the site, which will carry a participation fee. Luthra adds that Nimbus is also planning to do online short film festivals on the site, and create a section for uploading portfolios.

Some of the content on this site will probably come from Nimbus Motion Pictures, the company's film production arm, which has already produced three movies.

According to Luthra, both sites will predominantly earn their revenue from advertising, while around 40 per cent will come from subscription based services.

Commenting on future plans for online, Luthra says, "We want to develop strong social networking on these sites and have more user generated content."

He adds that the company is working on a mobile web portal for the site as well as mobile applications.

The portals will be promoted through cross-promotion on the Neo TV channels. There is also an online campaign running on popular Internet portals.

Nimbus Communications recently launched another online initiative called Showtime Video, which offers movies for sale and rent on the Internet and at offline stores.