The all-electric E1 powerboating series has unveiled a major broadcast tie-up in India with pay-TV heavyweight Star.
The broadcaster (owned by Disney), will cover the inaugural E1 season via both its Star Sports linear network and via the Disney+ Hotstar streaming service, from its first race in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, tomorrow (February 2).
The deal has been struck to take advantage of anticipated Indian and subcontinental interest in the series, following the news in October that national cricketing superstar Virat Kohli will be a team owner for one of the eight sides.
As well as this tie-up, E1 has also unveiled media rights deals in China with the Kuaishou and Yang Shi Pin streaming platforms, as well as with the Shandong, Jiangsu, and Liaoning TV channels.
In addition, E1 has detailed agreements with Sky Italia, Direct TV in Latin America, as well as with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.
Rupert Hunter, chief commercial officer at E1 World Championship, said: “With Team Blue Rising and Virat already involved with the E1 family, it is of huge significance to have secured Star Sports as our broadcast partner in South Asia for our debut championship season. We’re delighted to be able to work collaboratively with such an influential media giant, and believe that together we will cultivate a new fanbase across the subcontinent.”
Kohli, the former captain of the Indian cricket team, will lead the Blue Rising Team, named to draw attention to marine conservation and celebrate the color of India’s sports teams, as a team principal alongside sports technology entrepreneur and League Sports Co. (LSC) founder Adi K. Mishra.
LSC is a sports technology holding company that owns and operates sports teams gaming businesses, and brands including the World Bowling League.
Other E1 teams confirmed so far are owned by the likes of American football’s Tom Brady, soccer’s Didier Drogba, Formula 1’s Sergio Perez, tennis star Rafael Nadal, and US music producer Steve Aoki, with E1 using celebrity involvement as a means of driving interest in the series.
The championship begins in Jeddah and finishes in Hong Kong on November 10.
Broadcast deals for the inaugural series with CBS in the US and ITV in the UK were unveiled earlier this week.
CBS will broadcast the championship on its CBS Sports Network, while ITV will show it on the ITV4 channel and the ITVX streaming service.
In markets without TV deals, YouTube will stream the races live on E1’s official channel.