With Australia slipping to the third position and South Africa and India ranking at No.1 and No. 2, respectively, as per the latest ICC rankings, Ten Sports on February 10 announced its decision to acquire South Africa cricket rights through 2011. The agreement includes India’s three tests, five ODIs and one Twenty20 international in South Africa during 2010 and 2011. The agreement also represents an extension to the short term arrangement between the parties for 2008.
Chris McDonald, CEO, Taj TV, said, “With the South African rights, we have ensured that our viewers will enjoy well over 100 days of cricket, including two tours by Australia, one by Sri Lanka and England, and of course, a major tour by India in December 2010-January 2011, where that tour can feature the world’s two top sides in their final competition before the World Cup.”
He further said, “It also means that Ten Sports now holds the rights for half of world’s top cricket playing nations (South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and Zimbabwe), far more than any other channel. Ten Sports viewers across India will be treated to the best cricketing action, live and exclusive nearly every day of the year, including more that 200 days in 2009 alone.”
On the marketing plans, McDonald said, “We will continue to promote the depth and the quality of our cricket product on air, online and in print as well as through innovative and exciting promotions for Ten Sports subscribers, where viewers can win great prices such as trips to South Africa. All our other product such as UEFA Champions League Football, the WWE, US and European PGA Tours, the US open and much more.”
In a prepared statement, Gerald Majola, CEO of Cricket South Africa, said, “Cricket South Africa is pleased to continue its relationship with Ten Sports, the No. 1 sports channel in Asia. The forthcoming home series versus Australia will be a cracker, especially given South Africa’s recent success in both the long and short forms of the game. That series alone will undoubtedly generate a great deal of interest with cricket lovers across Asia.”
Taj TV’s Ten Sports, is available in more than 55 million cable/ satellite homes worldwide. One of the world’s biggest producer of cricket, the channel broadcasts cricket from West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai throughout the Indian Sub-continent and Asia, as well as to the US and Canada (Cricket Plus), Continental Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Ten Sports also owns the exclusive rights in its Sub-continent territories for the WWE, the UEFA Champions League, the US Open tennis and Hockey World Cup.