Cricket-crazy ESS renews broadcast rights down under

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 07, 2007
ESPN STAR Sports has renewed its broadcast partnership with Cricket Australia and acquired cricket rights for the next four years, lining up 550 days of international cricket till 2012

After trying & #BANNER1 & # out several other sports such as soccer and hockey, ESS has learnt that the way ahead in India is mainly through cricket. Fresh from the renewal of the broadcast partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the next five years, the sports broadcaster has pulled off yet another cricket broadcasting deal, this time with Cricket Australia (CA). The broadcaster has announced a new four-year contract for the exclusive rights to broadcast CA's domestic and home international matches across television, Internet, mobile and radio, covering the entire Asian region.

Speaking on the new deal, Jamie Davis, managing director, ESPN STAR Sports, says: "Now, with such an enviable line-up of cricket including CA, ECB and ICC, ESS is firmly positioned as the number 1 sports broadcaster in Asia for years to come."

ESPN STAR Sports will broadcast more than 170 days of live international cricket action from Australia, including two dozen 3 Mobile test matches, 48 Commonwealth Bank one day internationals and 8 KFC Twenty20 games. Over the next four years, all leading teams will visit Australia, with India slated to play four test matches and a three nation ODI series in 2011-12. In addition to the pulsating international cricket action, ESS also plans to broadcast CA's domestic cricket, which has been critical in nurturing Australian cricket talent and future international champions, and includes popular tournaments such as the Pura Cup, Ford Ranger One Day Cup and KFC Twenty20 Big Bash.

With the renewal of this partnership with Cricket Australia, ESS now has more than 550 days of international cricket lined up till 2012. This acquisition comes hot on the heels of ESS's announcement of the renewal of the broadcast partnership with ECB for the next five years, with which it has acquired exclusive rights for more than 200 days of world class international cricket from England. In addition, late last year, ESPN STAR Sports was awarded exclusive global telecast rights by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for all ICC events from 2007 to 2015. ESS recently launched a dedicated cricket channel, STAR Cricket.

James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia, adds, "Cricket Australia has always valued the high quality of coverage that ESPN STAR Sports brings to cricket and we are very pleased to continue our relationship with such a committed partner."

Adds Manu Sawhney, executive V-P, programming & marketing, ESPN STAR Sports, "We have shared a very fruitful relationship with Cricket Australia for more than a decade and are delighted to continue this partnership. Australian Cricket is extremely popular across Asia with many of the players being household names in the region, and we are committed to serving the fans with more action packed cricket from Down Under for years to come."

Following the ongoing India-England series, ESS will continue to have a packed cricket calendar with the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 starting from September 11. This will be followed by India's tour of Australia, Asia Cup and many more international series lined up over the next 12 months.