Inaugural ICC World Twenty20 Set to Score Big in United Kingdom & Ireland
ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s No. 1 sports broadcaster, has announced its broadcast rights partnerships for United Kingdom & Ireland for the first edition of the ICC World Twenty20.
In UK and Ireland, the rights for the maiden edition of the tournament have been awarded to BSkyB Limited & Independent Music Group Limited (Geo). While BSkyB Limited acquires the television broadcast rights exclusively in English language and Mobile and Internet for all languages, the Independent Music Group Limited (Geo) has been awarded the television broadcast rights exclusively for all languages other than English.
ESPN STAR Sports and its affiliate have already secured global coverage for the tournament with over 110 countries slated to showcase the inaugural edition of ICC World Twenty20 spanning North America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Cyprus, Mauritius, South Asia, North Asia - including China for the first time - and the Indian subcontinent.
With the rising popularity of this new format of the game amongst the fans in UK and Ireland and the growing penetration of internet and mobile in these markets, fans across UK and Ireland can look forward to an exciting season of cricket with the start of the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in September.
Said Mr Manu Sawhney, Executive Vice President, Programming & Marketing, ESPN STAR Sports: “As the leader in the sports broadcasting industry, we are committed to delivering the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 action in all its glory to millions of cricket aficionados across the world. And, it is our endeavor to work along with ICC in taking the game of cricket to new markets and new audiences through multiple platforms.”
“We are very pleased to have BSkyB Limited and Independent Music Group Limited as our partners in UK and Ireland. With their quality coverage and presentation, the fans can look forward to witnessing the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 action in all its glory. And with these partnerships, we are confident of setting new benchmarks in distribution which will pave the way for a record number of fans to witness this exciting format of cricket through multiple platforms in these countries.”
Mr Malcolm Speed, ICC Chief Executive Officer, said, “The ICC is extremely pleased to have a committed partner in ESPN STAR Sports, who has helped further extend the reach of this tournament by continually setting new standards in global distribution and coverage of cricket”.
“I’m confident that these broadcast partnerships will further grow the popularity of cricket in core cricket market like UK and the new emerging market like Ireland thus ensuring that our strong sport grows even stronger.”
ESPN STAR Sports recently renewed its partnership with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) and acquired exclusive rights to broadcast their domestic and home international matches for the entire Asian region. In addition, late last year, ESPN STAR Sports’ affiliate, EML, was awarded the global telecast rights from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for all of their events from 2007 to 2015 and recently launched a dedicated 24x7 cricket channel, STAR Cricket thus further strengthening its position as the Number 1 broadcaster in cricket in Asia with more than 550 days of international cricket now lined up till 2012.
Scheduled to take place in September 2007 in South Africa, the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 will be the first event to be broadcast by ESPN STAR Sports as a part of its eight-year agreement with ICC. The tournament has stirred up tremendous interest for cricket fans all over the globe, especially in South Africa where sell-out crowds are expected for the games.