Zee Entertainment, the Indian media group, has agreed a long-term global media rights deal with the Emirates Cricket Board for the UAE T20 League, the planned short-form cricket competition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it has today (May 24) been announced.
The deal will see the new league broadcast on ZEE’s linear channels and on its ZEE5 streaming platform in India and around the world.
Specifically, in India, matches will air across ZEE’s 10 linear channels in Hindi speaking markets, south and east regions in English, in Hindi, and in Tamil languages. There will also be radio coverage.
Zee has said it will use its presence in over 190 countries to “build the reach and resonance for the league with viewers and partners” and that it expects to take the league to more than 100 million households through its multi-platform strategy.
It was reported in December last year that Zee agreed a 10-year deal with the Emirates Cricket Board to broadcast the UAE T20 League, with the deal having been variously said to be worth in the region of $100-120 million or as high as $150 million.
The league will feature six franchise teams competing across 34 T20 matches in the UAE, with dates for the first edition yet to be announced.
Khalid Al Zarooni, chairman of the UA T20 League, said: “Nothing can be more satisfying than to have a credible broadcast partner like ZEE associated with the league. I am thankful to both Punit Goenka, [managing director and chief executive], and Rahul Johri, [president for business in South Asia], at ZEE for having faith in this league and to grow into a commercially successful enterprise.
“It is further a matter of delight that ZEE has decided to re-enter sports broadcast with UAE’s T20 League being the first media rights acquisition. We are very confident that ZEE has the strength of viewership to take our league to unmatched levels.”
Johri added: “At ZEE, we are delighted to be the official global media rights holder of UAE’s T20 League. We believe that the league, which is already attracting globally, the biggest cricket stars and team franchises, will provide fantastic cricket and entertainment to viewers across the world. ZEE is committed to using the strength of its platforms to take UAE’s T20 League to audiences in India and across the globe.”