In a surprise move, Zee Sports has acquired the rights to telecast the Challenger Trophy One-Day Series to be played among India Senior, India A and India B teams at Mohali starting from October 10. This comes in the heels of the channel acquiring the telecast rights of all domestic football matches for 10 years and Zee Telefilm Chairman Subhash Chandra declaring that he did not have any interest left in cricket.
Commenting on the acquisition, Gary Lovejoy, COO, Zee Sports, said, “We are delighted to acquire the broadcasting rights for the Challenger Trophy. The telecast will include preview and review shows, special programming, world-class graphics, special interviews and match reports. In addition, we are working on special initiatives to substantially boost the value we provide to our viewers and advertisers, which will be announced in the next few days.”
I S Bindra, President, Punjab Cricket Association, said, “It was our dream to make domestic cricket as important as international cricket, and today we at Punjab Cricket Association are delighted to see at least 45 domestic cricketers basking under the glare of the television cameras instead of a handful international cricketers during a Test or a One Day International match. We have no doubt that this Challenger Series will be the forerunner for many more domestic events where a new breed of heroes will be thrown up by the incalculable power of television.”
Satish Menon, President, Sports and Media, Nimbus said, “In Zee Sports we have found an outstanding broadcast platform for the Challenger Trophy, backed by the massive promotional capability of the Zee Network and the world class production that Nimbus Sport will provide. We expect that the combination will lead to the highest ever TVRs for the Challenger Trophy,
specially with Tendulkar’s comeback in this marquee event.”
This tournament will be the first game for Tendulkar after he underwent surgery of his elbow in May last.