ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) has announced strategic partnerships with three major broadcasters to make International Cricket Council (ICC) events exclusively available to cricket fans across Pakistan, Canada and the US from 2009-2011, extending its broadcast distribution of the ICC events to more than 116 countries across the globe.
Under these agreements, Pakistan Television Network (PTV), the biggest network in Pakistan, has acquired the terrestrial television rights for the ICC events while ATN, Canada’s largest South Asian Broadcaster, and Willow TV, the world’s leading portal for live Internet streaming of international cricket events, have acquired multi-platform rights for television, Internet and mobile to showcase all ICC events to include premium world-class cricket events such as the ICC Champions Trophy 2009, ICC Women’s World Cup 2009, ICC World Twenty20 2009 and 2010, the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2010 and the global showpiece event of the cricket calendar, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in South Asia.
Commenting on the development, Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESPN-STAR Sports, said, “These are some very significant distribution partnerships for the ICC events, and we are delighted to cement our relationship with PTV, ATN and Willow TV. The sport’s popularity continues to grow at an immense rate across the globe, and we look forward to working closely with them to serve cricket fans. These partnerships reinforce our commitment to set new benchmarks in the distribution of ICC events, and solidify our leadership position in the cricket broadcast industry.”
Haroon Lorgat, CEO, ICC, said, “This is good news for cricket. The ICC is delighted to have such a strong and committed partner in ESPN-STAR Sports and it is great to know that cricket fans in Canada, the US and Pakistan will be so well served by these deals. We are confident that the game will greatly benefit from these partnerships and fans across the globe will continue to enjoy the highest quality of production and presentation.”
ESPN-STAR Sports was awarded the exclusive global telecast and marketing rights from the ICC in 2006 for all of their events from 2007 to 2015, and has been receiving an overwhelming response from a diverse pool of leading broadcast and telecommunication media organisations since announcing the invitation to tender for the ICC broadcast rights in December 2007. These include multi-year and multi-platform deals with Supersport in Southern Africa, PMG in Australia, Sky NZ in New Zealand, CMC in the Caribbean, SLRC for Sri Lanka, Fiji TV for the Pacific Islands and Arab Digital Distribution in the Middle East and North Africa.