ESPN-STAR Sports has announced its broadcast rights partnerships for the first edition of the ICC World Twenty20, scheduled to take place in September this year in South Africa. Covering television and new media platforms, including Internet and mobile, these distribution partnerships will make the games available to millions of viewers across the world.
The arrangements promise unmatched reach for the inaugural edition of the Twenty20 tournament, bringing the game to new markets and audiences whilst continuing to strengthen its popularity in the core cricket territories.
In the short span of time since acquiring the broadcast rights of the ICC World Twenty20, ESPN STAR Sports and its affiliate have already secured global coverage for the tournament with over 105 countries slated to showcase the inaugural edition. The coverage will be available on ESPN, STAR Sports, STAR Cricket and their affiliated television channels in various Asian countries including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and China.
In addition, ESPN-STAR Sports has secured broadcast partnerships with the world’s leading broadcasters across globe, including making deals with DirecTV and ATN in North America, Caribbean Media Corporation in the Caribbean, South African Broadcasting Corporation and Super Sports in Africa, Taj TV (TEN Sports) in Middle East, Sky Television Network in New Zealand, Geo in the UK and Pakistan, Premier Media Group in Australia, and SuperSport in Greece, Cyprus and Mauritius.
Jamie Davis, Managing Director, ESPN-STAR Sports, said, “We are delighted to begin our partnership with ICC World Twenty20. Through our own platforms in Asia and with our partners across the globe, we have been able to set new benchmarks in distribution which will pave the way for a record number of fans to witness the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 action in all its glory.”
Added Manu Sawhney, Executive Vice President-Programming and Marketing, ESPN STAR Sports, “We are extremely pleased with the enthusiastic response from the partners across the world for the inaugural ICC World Twenty20. In addition to these partnerships, we are currently in discussions with more broadcasters across markets, and we would soon be sharing the details on them. This would further extend the reach of this tournament, thus setting new standards of global distribution of cricket.”
Malcolm Speed, CEO, ICC, said, “The ICC is delighted to have such a strong and committed partner in ESPN-STAR Sports who has consistently delivered quality cricket coverage with the highest production values to fans. Now, with these broadcast partnerships covering more than 105 countries, including the US, and for the first time, China, the first ever ICC World Twenty20 has the potential to reach new heights of viewership, thus ensuring the best possible coverage we could hope for -- something that should help ensure our strong sport grows even stronger.”
The inaugural ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 will be the first event to be hosted by ESPN-STAR Sports as a part of its eight-year agreement with ICC. The tournament has stirred up a lot of interest in the cricketing world, and especially in South Africa, with sell-out crowds expected for the games.
In 2006, ESPN-STAR Sports’ affiliate EML was awarded the global telecast rights from ICC for all of its events from 2007 to 2015. ESPN-STAR Sports had also recently launched 24x7 cricket channel STAR Cricket, thus reinforcing its position as the leading sports broadcaster in cricket.