ESPN-STAR Sports announced a new four-year contract for the exclusive rights to broadcast Cricket Australia’s domestic and home international matches across various platforms, including television, the Internet, mobile and radio, covering the entire Asian region.
ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) will broadcast more than 170 days of live international cricket action from Australia, including 24 ‘3 mobile’ Test Matches, 48 ‘Commonwealth Bank’ ODIs and eight ‘KFC’ Twenty20 games. Over the next four years, all leading teams will be visiting Australia with India slated to play four Test matches and a three-nation ODI series in 2011-12. This apart, ESS also plans to broadcast Cricket Australia’s top-class domestic cricket, which has been critical in nurturing Australian cricket talent and future international champions, and includes popular tournaments such as the Pura Cup, Ford Ranger One Day Cup and KFC Twenty20 Big Bash.
The renewal of this partnership with Cricket Australia has further strengthened ESS’ position as the No. 1 broadcaster in cricket in Asia with more than 550 days of international cricket now lined up till 2012. This acquisition comes hot on the heels of ESS’ announcement of the renewal of the broadcast partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the next five years, with which it has acquired exclusive rights for more than 200 days of world class International cricket from England.
Manu Sawhney, Executive Vice-President, Programming & Marketing, ESPN-STAR Sports, said, “We have shared a very fruitful relationship with Cricket Australia for over a decade and are delighted to continue this partnership. Australian Cricket is extremely popular across Asia with many of the players being household names in the region and we are committed to serving the fans with more action packed cricket from down under for years to come.”
Commenting on the acquisition, R C Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “The acquisition of the Cricket Australia rights has further strengthened our position as the leading sports broadcaster in Asia. With this, now we have the rights to broadcast the very best of international cricket for our discerning sports fan. We will continue in our endeavour to further augment our portfolio with the best of international cricket the world over.”
Following the ongoing India-England series, ESS will continue to have a packed cricket calendar with the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 starting from September 11. This will be followed by India’s tour to Australia later in the year, Asia Cup and many more international series lined up over the next 12 months.