ESPN STAR Sports has acquired the rights to all international cricket events organised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board till mid 2006. With this acquisition, the channel has cricket rights for 8 out of 10 test playing nations.
This acquisition gains significance since Sony Entertainment Channel (SET) had announced recently that it is close to signing the deal for telecast rights of all ICC cricket, including World Cup, for Indian subcontinent. However, our efforts to confirm this deal from ICC and SET proved futile.
While Bangladesh may not be a top notch cricketing nation, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will host some of the best cricket-playing nation. “Bangladesh will be hosting some of the most exciting international cricket series in the coming years with more than seven countries including India, South Africa, West Indies, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia,” says the president of BCB, Mohammed Ali Asghar. The rights should provide the channel over 90 days of international cricket including Tests, ODI and Tri Series.
A tripartite agreement involving the BCB, WorldTel and ESPN STAR Sports, was signed by Mohammed Ali Asghar, President, BCB, Karen Mascarenhas, representing WorldTel and Rik Dovey, MD, ESPN STAR Sports.
Rik Dovey, excited about the acquisition said, “We will continue to acquire, according to sound business practices, top quality sporting content from Asia and around the world for the millions of our loyal viewers”
”This is another step in our commitment. In 2002 alone, ESPN and STAR Sports will broadcast LIVE over 261 days of international cricket including a record 82 days of India playing cricket covering India tours to West Indies, England and New Zealand,” says Manu Sawhney, MD of ESPN Star Sports Indian operations.
With cricket performing well amongst key TGs and a large number of brands advertising on Cricket (473 in 2001), this acquisition will give advertisers and the channel a lot to cheer.