Bangladesh Premier League cricket spreads its TV reach

Rebecca Hawkes | 14-02-2012

Broadcasters in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Asia and the UK have now signed rights deals to televise action from the new Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) cricket tournament, which began on Thursday (9 February).

Geo TV has become the BPL broadcast partner in Pakistan for three years; while opening season twenty20 (T20) BPL cricket will now be shown by Maharaja TV in Sri Lanka, SuperSport in South Africa, and CricOne in West Asia. It Britain, NTV UK will carry the Bengali feed of the tournament to serve the country's Bangladeshi expatriate population.

ESPN Star Sports acquired the broadcast rights for the BPL in India last week, while Channel 9 will televise all the matches within Bangladesh.

Channel 9 Bangladesh, which owns the international broadcast rights for the tournament, has appointed Delhi-based events licensing company Sporty Solutionz as its global distribution partner.

"We have a three year deal with Channel 9, which is the broadcast rights holder for this league. They have given the licensing rights to us. We have picked the overseas broadcast rights excluding Bangladesh and subsequently we are distributing the event," said Ashish Chadha, chief executive, Sporty Solutionz.

Modelled on the Indian Premier League (IPL), the BPL comprises six teams - Barisal Burners, Chittagong Kings, Khulna Royal Bengals, Sylhet Royals, Dhaka Gladiators and Duronto Rajshahi - who will play each other twice in a round-robin format over 33 matches.

Big name international cricketers such as Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Herschelle Gibbs and Muttiah Muralitharan are all involved in the action, which takes place in Chittagong and Dhaka until 29 February.

Most days will feature either one or two matches, with the first beginning at 2pm local time and the second at 6.30 pm.