ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) has been awarded the global commercial rights for Champions League Twenty20 for the next 10 years till 2017 with a bid of $975 million. The deal gives ESS the exclusive rights for all the matches in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 season, due to be held from December 3-10, 2008, and for all upcoming seasons until 2017.
The deal awards ESS a multitude of rights across various platforms, including television, Internet, mobile and radio. In addition, ESS will also have all title rights, event sponsorship, ground rights and merchandising rights around the property.
The Champions League Twenty20 has been developed by three founding member boards – Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa. Eight teams, consisting of the reigning winners and runners-up from the domestic Twenty20 competitions in India, Australia and South Africa, plus the winners of 2008 Twenty20 championships to be held in October 2008 from Pakistan, and the reigning Twenty20 Cup champion from England, Middlesex, have been invited to take part in the 2008 Champions League Twenty20.
Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESPN-STAR Sports, said, “We are extremely pleased at having won the global commercial rights for the Champions League Twenty20. This is a testament to our commitment to the game of cricket and fans as we cement our relationship with the BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa. With the phenomenal success that we’ve had with the inaugural ICC Twenty20 World Cup last year, we are confident that we will be able to take Champions League Twenty20 to new heights as well.”
“Through our television channels – ESPN, STAR Sports and STAR Cricket – our website www.espnstar.com, and our wireless platforms – mobileESPN and STAR Sports Mobile – we are confident of taking the Champions League Twenty20 to new heights by working along with the various partners involved,” Sawhney added.
On the acquisition of the Champions League T20, RC Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “We are delighted with the acquisition of the broadcast rights of the Champions League T20. T20 has already proved to be a runaway success over the last year and a half with India’s victory in the T20 World Cup being the crowning glory. This novel concept of the top T20 teams from the premier cricketing nations playing off against each other will surely take the game to another new level
He further said, “For us, the Champions League T20 broadcast rights complement our existing portfolio of prime cricketing content. Together with the eight-year ICC media rights, this new acquisition will ensure that ESPN-STAR Sports has at least one mega cricket property every six months for the next eight years.”