Moving ahead with the philosophy of fostering a multi-sport culture in India, STAR Sports has acquired the rights to telecast the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). The acquisition of IPTL rights is in line with the STAR Sports objective of fulfilling India’s growing appetite for non-cricketing sports such as tennis, hockey, badminton and kabaddi.
The IPTL is slated to kick start from November 28, 2014. It is a key marquee event that will bring together current champions, tennis legends and upcoming talent in a format that’s never been seen before. The league is being organised by the 12-time doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam Champion and winner of 52 ATP doubles titles – Mahesh Bhupathi with an intention to fulfill the increasing demand for top-level tennis in Asia.
IPTL will be played in typically indoor stadiums across four Asian countries - Philippines, Singapore, India and UAE from November 28, 2014 to December 13, 2014. The India leg of the IPTL that is scheduled to be held in Delhi would be witness to tennis greats like Roger Federer, who would be playing in India for the first time, besides Novak Djokovic, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych, Goran Ivanisevic and Pete Sampras
Matches will be telecast live on STAR Sports, STAR Sports HD and starsports.com. STAR Sports has an exemplary track record of broadcasting sports leagues and has continuously raised the bar in their television coverage of major sporting leagues in India, including the breakthrough Indian Badminton League, Hero Hockey India League and the more recent STAR Sports Pro Kabaddi League and Hero Indian Super League.
“The International Premier Tennis League is an unprecedented opportunity for sports fans across India to experience the game played by its legends. This is the first time India will play host to some of the biggest names in tennis, and we at Star Sports are extremely proud to be associated with this league. We’re confident that the league will take the game of tennis to much greater heights and further accelerate its development and adoption”, said Nitin Kukreja, President – Sports, Star India.
Commenting on the announcement, Mahesh Bhupathi, Founder and MD, IPTL said, “On behalf of the IPTL, we're very excited that Star Sports has acquired the rights to broadcast over the long term. Given their network strength and their commitment to growing sport in the country, our decision to partner with them was an easy one. We're confident that the IPTL's quicker and more exciting format, bundled with Star Sports' strength in packaging and promotion will lend greatly to delivering a great viewing experience to sports fans, and attracting new ones to the game!”
Each IPTL match will consist of five sets played by different players that will include men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and former Champions singles. Each game won counts as one point for the team points total and the team that wins the most games overall across the five sets wins the match. The IPTL matches will feature live entertainment, a running shot clock and many more features to ’Break the Code’ of the traditional etiquette of tennis to attract a new audience to the sport across the world.