24 October 2005, Singapore : Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the apex body for management of cricket in Asia has awarded the worldwide rights for telecasting the Ninth ‘Asia Cup’ to Asia’s leading sports broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports. Rights include global exclusive television broadcast of the tournament, radio broadcast and on-ground sponsorships. The Asia Cup, which is to be played between India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, will be held in Pakistan from the 16th to the 28th of February 2006.

Jamie Davis, ESPN STAR Sports’ Managing Director said, “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Asia Cup 2006.  Securing the rights for this prestigious tournament is an affirmation of our commitment to provide exciting cricket to viewers’ worldwide. 

Asia Cup has been gaining in popularity with each edition.  We have played an integral role in endearing the tournament to viewers’ world wide with the help of value additions like simultaneous Hindi and English commentary, Hindi graphics and so on.  We will continue to build on that equity and provide even greater enjoyment to the fans of the game in the tournament to be played in Pakistan next year.” added Davis.

Syed Ashraful Huq, Chief Executive Officer, Asian Cricket Council (ACC), said, “We’re extremely pleased to announce our partnership with ESPN STAR Sports for the forthcoming Asia Cup. They have consistently delivered quality cricket coverage with the highest production values to fans across key territories in Asia, showcasing the sport at its finest. The Asia Cup’s success in 2004 was largely due to all the partnerships that we had forged, and ESS was a valuable contributor to the success of that event. We continue our commitment to develop the best cricket in the Asian continent and hope that this year in Pakistan, the cricket will be as exciting as ever. The Asia Cups have a habit of producing some tremendously exciting cricket.”

Acquisition of the 2006 ‘Asia Cup’ sees ESPN STAR Sports continue its winning streak of securing top-flight programming, which already includes exclusive broadcast rights for the English Premier League, ‘FIFA World Cup 2006’,’FIFA Confederations Cup 2005’, as well as multi-year deals for ‘Wimbledon’, ‘F1’ & ‘A1 Grand prix’, ‘Moto GP’ and the ‘US Open Golf’. ESPN STAR Sports has strengthened the wrestling portfolio with the acquisition of ‘TNA Wrestling’ & ‘PRIDE FC’. The sports broadcaster has also signed a four-year deal with ‘Azlan Shah Hockey tournament’ & signed a three year exclusive deal with Indian Hockey Federation for all international matches to be played in India under the aegis of IHF.

For the latest schedules and programme information visit http://www.espnstar.com/