via press release:
ESPN Strikes Deals for Unprecedented Multiplatform Cricket Coverage in the U.S. through 2015, Including the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
Two four-year agreements to bring Champions League Twenty20 and major ICC events exclusively across TV, online and mobile
Furthering its commitment to cricket, ESPN today announced it has reached two multiyear rights agreements for exclusive live coverage of matches from Champions League Twenty20 and International Cricket Council (ICC) events, including the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, one of the most watched sporting events globally. The deals, signed with global rights holder ESPN Star Sports, will dedicate more than 1,000 additional hours of exclusive live cricket in the U.S. to ESPN3.com’s programming lineup.
“It’s a big day for cricket fans in the U.S., and we’re thrilled to be the network offering this passionate and underserved audience more cricket coverage than ever before,” said Damon Phillips, Vice President, ESPN3.com. “We’re removing the traditional pay per view barrier and making these world class events available to millions of fans.”
Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports, said, “We are very pleased to enter in this agreement with ESPN. It continues to be our endeavor to further grow the game of cricket across the globe and we believe that this collaboration will give a big thrust to the development of the game in the U.S. Fans in the U.S. can look forward to an exciting calendar of top quality cricket including the iconic ICC cricket events and CLT20, the world championship of top T20 teams.”
“The ICC is delighted that ESPN has acquired the rights to ICC events for the period 2012 to 2015. The U.S. is a region of real growth and potential for cricket and for us to have a world-class broadcaster like ESPN as a collaborator in the U.S. is a great boost for our sport. This deal signals a real sea change in the mainstream exposure of cricket to American viewers. Hopefully, this will be a catalyst for huge growth for cricket in this critical market.”
The deals include exclusive rights across television, online and mobile platforms for Championship League Twenty20 matches from 2012-2015 as well as the following ICC events:
- Jun-Jul 2012: ICC U19 Cricket World Cup (Australia)
- Sep-Oct 2012: ICC World Twenty20 (Sri Lanka)
- Mar 2013: ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup (India)
- Jun 2013: ICC Champion’s Trophy (England)
- May 2013: ICC World Cup Qualifier (Scotland)
- Feb 2014: ICC World Twenty20 (South Asia)
- Feb-Mar 2014: ICC U19 Cricket world Cup (UAE)
- TBD 2014: ICC World Cricket League – Division 1 (Location TBD)
- Feb- Mar 2015: ICC Cricket World Cup (Australia/New Zealand)
Champions League Twenty20 features the world’s top national teams, including clubs from the Indian Premier League and others from Australia, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies. ESPN International signed a similar deal for rights in the Caribbean, where all 23 cricket matches were presented live in September.
Events from the ICC represent some of the most prestigious cricket matches in the world, sanctioned by the international governing body of cricket. The deal marks the first time the Cricket World Cup will be made available at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or cable TV video subscription from an affiliated service provider.
In 2010 alone, ESPN3.com carried a total of 368 hours of cricket that included Bangladesh home matches against top-tier national teams such as India, England and others, USA Cricket between New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka from Lauderhill, FL, the 2010 Asia Cup and the Caribbean Regional Twenty20 Tournament. With today’s announcement, ESPN3.com is currently slated to carry close to 1,500 total hours of exclusive live cricket programming over the next four years in the U.S.
ESPN3.com is ESPN’s live sports broadband network, a 24/7 online destination that delivers thousands of live, global sports events annually. It is currently available in more than 65 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or cable TV video subscription from an affiliated service provider. It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.