Neo to broadcast dual feed for French Open

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing
Last updated : May 22, 2013
The content of the tournament will be increased to about 225 hours of programming.

The Neo Sports Network will telecast the simultaneous men's and women's matches of French Open on the two channels, Neo Prime and Neo Sports. The sports broadcaster from Nimbus Sports has announced the launch of a dual feed broadcast plan for the first time for the second Grand Slam of the year. The tournament will start on May, 26 and end on June, 9.

Neo Channels

As per the broadcaster, the average reach of the tournament touched 25 million viewers in 2012 (C&S MF 4+ All India, 2012). With the dual feed plan, the channel expects to increase the on-air content from about 130-140 hours (last year) to about 225 hours during the upcoming event. The simultaneous telecast of different matches will ensure a minimum of 45 additional hours of live content during prime time. With this, the total amount of airtime available during the event also increases by about 40 per cent. The ad rates for the tournament have also been increased by 40 per cent for the current year.

This is the second year that Neo has acquired the right to broadcast the event. The network had acquired the rights for French Open from ESPN-STAR Sports in 2011 for five years, at an industry-estimated price of Rs 8-10 crore. As per the deal, Neo Sports will have the exclusive rights to broadcast the sports event across the Indian sub-continent. This will include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives.

The channel plans continuous live updates and exciting contests on the Neo Prime Twitter handle (@neoprimetv) through the two-week period.

Prasanna Krishnan

For the record, in the upcoming tournament, Rafael Nadal will fight for his eighth title, while Roger Federer will hunt for the 18th Grand Slam and Novak Djokovic is just a trophy away from completing a career Grand Slam.

Prasanna Krishnan, COO, Neo Sports Broadcast, says, "The attraction of the French Open is extremely high and Neo's coverage is taking it to significant new landmarks. Last year, the reach of the event was a third better than Wimbledon and nearly equal to the other two Grand Slams put together. This year, we will be taking this to greater heights with dual feed coverage and nearly doubling live coverage to 225 hours, which is in line with our strategy to bring in more novelty with non-cricket properties."

It may be noted that in June 2012, the network rebranded its cricket channel, Neo Cricket as Neo Prime after it lost the broadcast rights of BCCI cricket to ESPN-STAR Sports.

Neo Sports Broadcast owns and operates two sports television channels - Neo Prime and Neo Sports. The network owns broadcast rights for Asia Cup Cricket, New Zealand Cricket, German Bundesliga Football, French Open Tennis, ITF Davis Cup and Fed Cup Tennis, US PGA Tour Golf, BWF Super Series Badminton Events, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey and World Series Hockey, among others.

First Published : May 22, 2013
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