ESPN Star Sports wins Asia TV rights for Australian cricketRebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 08-12-2011
Pan-Asian broadcaster ESPN Star Sports has won the exclusive broadcast rights until 2017 for Cricket Australia's (CA) domestic and home international matches.
The five year deal with CA encompasses the television, internet, mobile and radio distribution platforms across Asia and the Indian subcontinent, where cricket is revered above all other sports.
ESPN Star Sports is currently broadcasting more than 191 days of live international cricket action from Australia under the Future Tours Programme (FTP), including 27 test matches, 44 one day internationals (ODI) and 12 Twenty20 (T20) games.
"We are delighted that a telecaster of ESPN Star Sports' standing and class will be putting Australian cricket in front of so many cricket fans. ESPN Star Sports has been a wonderful and innovative partner for a long while and to be able to extend this critical partnership is great news for us all as well as for the cricket loving public," said James Sutherland, chief executive, Cricket Australia.
The 2013-2014 Ashes, between arch rivals England and Australia, and tours by South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zealand will all form part of the TV rights package.
ESPN will also televise two India series during the deal's time-frame. India will be part of a tri-series, also featuring Australia and England, which is scheduled ahead of the ICC World Cup in 2015. A visit by India of Australia is also slated for 2015-2016, encompassing seven ODIs and two T20 matches.
"We are very pleased to announce this partnership with Cricket Australia with whom we share a very strong relationship. Australian Cricket has always been exciting and is played with utmost competitiveness in a super charged atmosphere which makes for every fan's delight. It is therefore not surprising that it is called the ultimate test for any cricket player," said Manu Sawhney, managing director, ESPN Star Sports.
"This partnership with Cricket Australia is a testament to our commitment to serve our fans with more action packed cricket for years to come. With so many premium international series including two India tours and Ashes along with a robust mix of increasingly popular domestic tournaments, fans in the Indian sub-continent can look forward to top quality action from down under on ESPN Star Sports.
"Now, with such an enviable line-up of cricket including Cricket Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board, International Cricket Council and Champions League Twenty20, we are pleased to further strengthen our position as the biggest cricket network and the No.1 sports content provider in Asia," he concluded.
India's forthcoming tour of Australia, which starts on 26 December 2011, will feature four test matches, two Twenty20 matches and a tri-angular one day series with Sri Lanka as the third team.
All the matches of this series will be televised live on Star Cricket and Star Cricket HD, while the tri-series will also be broadcast on ESPN.