India's premium sports channel NEO Prime has partnered with video portal to provide live broadcast of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship across the subcontinent.

The highly anticipated tournament, which will commence June 8 and end July 1, is expected to pull in around 4.3 billion spectators and will be broadcast live to a television audience of 1.1 billion. Neo Prime, which has exclusive television broadcast rights in India, is projected to cover an estimated 55,000 hours of tournament coverage in 220 countries.

"Neo Prime is delighted to partner with for live streaming of the Neo Broadcast of UEFA EURO 2012TM," Prasana Krishnan, COO, Neo Sports Broadcast Ltd, said in a press release on Wednesday.

Initially branded as Neo Cricket for its exclusive coverage of international cricket, NEO Prime is the sports wing of Nimbus Communications Limited with its headquarters at Mumbai city.

Krishnan said that the broadcaster is keen to tap on India's proliferating interest in International football, with the sport now at its zenith among sport fans in the country. The COO further added that new marketing initiative is expected to gain high levels of traffic on the online broadcast front.

iStream founder and CEO Radhakrishnan Ramachandran seconded the initiative and said in a press statement, "We believe that football has a strong pull among the Internet audiences in the country and this is part of our overall strategy to build a strong sports vertical for We plan to bring in more such exclusive partnerships in the online video space".

In a nation long strung on cricket, football has increasingly enthralled the hearts and minds of sports lovers across the country. That being said, Bollywood hot shot and cricket fanatic Shah Rukh Khan recently announced plans of buying stake in Dempo Sports Club, a Goa-based football club.

Meanwhile, the 14th UEFA championship which will kick off on Friday across eight cities in Poland and Ukraine, will feature 16 nations contesting for the grand entry to the FIFA Confederations Cup to be held in Brazil next year.