ESPN-STAR Sports has signed a deal with the FA Premier League (FAPL) to broadcast the Barclays English Premier League (EPL) for the Indian sub-continent through 2010. The agreement grants ESPN-STAR Sports the right to broadcast 370 matches per season throughout India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Mongolia and Maldives via television, broadband and mobile technologies.
The announcement comes four days after ESPN-STAR Sports declared its acquisition of the same EPL rights for 12 key South East Asian countries.
Commenting on the company’s acquisition, Jamie Davis, Managing Director, ESPN-STAR Sports, said, “Our company has been the catalyst for increasing the popularity of EPL in India, ordinarily a cricket crazy nation. Our world class studio shows, intensive marketing campaigns, and localisation efforts, including the introduction of Hindi commentary, have made the EPL a highly watched sports property. Our strong relationship with the FAPL has been built on our commitment to grow the EPL brand via live matches and over 400 hours annually of original, football programming.”
“Through our television channels, our website www.espnstar.com, and our wireless platform, mobileESPN, ESPN-STAR Sports delivers sports into the lives of our viewers any time, any place through any pipe and any device. This renewal maintains our position as Asia’s No. 1 sports broadcaster,” Davis added.
“EPL is a rage among the younger generation in the country, who identify as much with Wayne Rooney and John Terry as they do with Irfan Pathan and Mahendra Dhoni. Keeping the young fans in mind, we plan to enhance our EPL offering on mobileESPN substantially. Football fans can look forward to getting live scores, match schedules, player statistics, contests and much more from mobileESPN going forward,” said Sricharan Iyengar, Vice-president, New Media and Marketing, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd.
ESPN-STAR Sports has also extended its agreement with the FA Premier League to deliver live and exclusive broadcast of the EPL to 12 other countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, North Korea, Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Taiwan and Macau. These rights also include television, mobile and Internet platforms.