ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s No. 1 sports content provider, today announced that it has reached a multi-year broadcast rights agreement for exclusive coverage of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) in India. The first edition of this T20 league will be played in August 2012.
The multi-year deal includes a minimum of 24 T20 matches per season. The first edition of the SLPL will see seven provisional teams compete for the coveted trophy as well as a qualifier berth to the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) to be held later this year. The SLPL will feature 42 international players participating from seven countries. STAR Cricket, STAR Sports and ESPN will broadcast all the matches live and exclusive in India starting on 11 August 2012.
ESPN STAR Sports’ broadcast rights agreement also includes live coverage of the SLPL in the territories of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Nepal, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
These rights, in addition to the existing T20 leagues from Australia, England and Bangladesh and along with CLT20 and ICC WT20 make ESS the undisputed leaders in this coveted cricket format.
Speaking on the occasion, Peter Hutton, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports, said, “We are delighted to be able to telecast the live matches of the SLPL in India and throughout the region. It is an excellent addition to STAR Cricket’s remarkable catalogue of content in the next year, headlined by India’s home series against Pakistan, England and New Zealand, the ICC World T20, the Champions League T20 and the ICC Champions trophy.
“Sri Lanka cricket becomes the 6th cricket body with whom we are working on the shortest form of the game. Our coverage of Australia’s Big Bash and the T20 leagues in England and Bangladesh have already shown our commitment to the format, and we look to further growing our live cricket content.”
The SLPL will see all leading international and domestic cricketers from Sri Lanka joining hands with talented U-21 players. The tournament has also attracted players from Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and West Indies.
While all leading players from Sri Lanka are expected to play, other star cricketers from around the globe who have signed up to participate in the SLPL include:
West Indies – Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach, Kevon Cooper and Jerome Taylor.
Bangladesh – Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Raheem, Elias Sunny and Nasir Hossain.
Pakistan – Shahid Afridi, Misbah Ul Haq, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Shoaib Malik, Azhar Mahmood, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Nazir, Umar Gul, Ahmed Shahzad, Hammad Azam, Abdur Rehman, Imran Farhat and Umar Akmal
South Africa – Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Ryan McLaren and Richard Levi
New Zealand – James Franklin, Nathan McCullum and Tim Southee
Australia – Dirk Nannes, Ryan Harris, Brad Hodge, Mitchell Marsh, Andrew McDonald, Brad Hogg, Callum Ferguson, and Clint Mckay