ESPN Star Sports (ESS) has invited interested parties including broadcasters, broadcasting unions, sports rights agencies, cable operators and affiliates, as well as media companies across the globe, to participate in the tender process for the TV broadcast rights for the high-profile International Cricket Council (ICC) events that would take place in the period 2008-2011. The invitation to tender for various rights outside India is to be released shortly to participating parties. ESS is ICC’s global broadcast and production partner.
Late last year, ESS’ affiliate, ESPN (Mauritius) Ltd (EML), was awarded the exclusive global telecast rights from the ICC for all its events from 2007-2015. The ICC cricket calendar over the next four years is filled with a number of key events, including the ICC Champions’ Trophy in Pakistan in 2008, and in West Indies in 2010; the second edition of the ICC World Twenty20 in England in 2009, and the ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in the Indian subcontinent in 2011; as well as the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup tournaments in 2008 and 2010; ICC Women’s World Cup in 2009; ICC World Cup Qualifier in 2009; and the World Cricket League in 2011.
According to Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESS, “As the global ICC broadcast and production partner, we are heartened by the success of the recent ICC World Twenty20. The television coverage of the recent event was widely acknowledged, as being of a very high quality, and ESPN Star Sports will continue to raise the bar in producing coverage for the various upcoming ICC events. We are keen to build on this successful beginning and to help grow the popularity of cricket across the globe. We believe that the package of rights till 2011 offers broadcasters unparalleled cricket programming, with one major ICC event each year, as well as a number of other high-quality international competitions.”
Malcolm Speed, Chief Executive Officer, ICC, added, “ESPN STAR Sports has proven to be a strong and committed partner by consistently delivering quality cricket coverage with the highest production value to fans. We are extremely pleased with their achievements from the ICC World Twenty20 and we are confident they will build successful broadcast partnerships across the globe to ensure the sport grows even stronger, with the number of major ICC events till 2011.”
ESS’ partnership with the ICC started on an extremely successful note with the inaugural edition of the ICC World Twenty20 held in September 2007 in South Africa, which set new viewership records for cricket around the world. ESS, through its networks and distribution partners showcased the tournament in over 110 countries, including China for the first time.
In addition, ESS produced the global feed for the tournament and introduced a slew of presentation and on-air innovations, making this new format of the game even more enjoyable to millions across the globe. The tournament registered phenomenal success with new viewership benchmarks being created in the form of record-breaking ratings, expanding the demographic of cricket viewers to new audiences and developing new markets.