|Indian and international cricket stars to prove calibre in most talked about cricketing event of the year.
US$1.026 billion paid for the initial television rights and $723.6 million for franchise ownership.
Arab Digital Distribution (ADD), the largest pay TV platform management company in the Middle East and North Africa, announced that it had won 10-year exclusive television coverage rights for the Middle East and North Africa for the cricketing world’s most expensive and most talked about - the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket competition. Live coverage for the same would be made available to audiences in UAE, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan and Libya via Pehla/ART Premium Sports packages.
Thus far US$1.026 billion has already paid for the IPL initial television rights and US$723.6 million for IPL franchise ownership, in addition to the bidding for the players for the event.
Mr. Lalit Modi - Chairman & Commissioner, IPL, said “BCCI-IPL would like to welcome ART Prime Sport, part of ART as its newest Broadcast Partner in the Middle East and North Africa and is pleased to be working with ART Prime Sport on the broadcast of the DLF Indian Premier League in the Middle East and North Africa and is confident that this will be a successful working partnership. We believe the wide variety of viewers of ART will have a exciting line up of matches to look forward to with a array of International Stars and the best of cricketing action”.
Expressing his views on this association Mr. Venu Nair, CEO, South East Asia, World Sports Group, the Sports Marketing Company, commented, “The popularity of cricket in this part of the world is immense. With the introduction of IPL, international players who were one time opponents stand a chance to be playing in the same team, which makes IPL very exciting to its viewers. We are glad to partner with ADD as they have one of the best distribution networks and have a very large subscriber base in this region.”
Commenting on the exclusive IPL rights, Mr. Vinod D’Mello, Executive Vice-President, Group Strategy and Planning, ADD, said: “The exclusive opportunity to watch reigning cricketing greats in action is nothing short of a surprise gift for lovers of the sport in the Middle East. Cricketing action is a big draw for television viewers whether they understand the sport or not. Its appeal cuts across all segments of viewers irrespective of age, gender or marital status. The IPL rights further validate our commitment of providing the finest Asian entertainment to our viewers.”
IPL is scheduled to start on April 18 and will continue till June 1 2008. The tournament will have eight teams playing each other over 44 days. The League was created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) with approval from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The IPL teams are Mumbai Indians, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Deccan Chargers from Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi DareDevils, Kings XI Punjab from Chandigarh, Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals from Jaipur. Each team in the tournament has a pool of 16 players. As per regulations the number of foreign players in each team has been kept at a maximum of eight with players aged under 22 restricted to four. Additionally, as per rules at least four of the players in each team should belong to the catchment area, where the team is based. v With star Indian and international cricketers like Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mike Boucher, Muttaiah Muralitharan, Mathew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Shoaib Malik, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist, Shahid Afridi, Herschelle Gibbs, Chaminda Vaas, Shane Warne, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga participating in the tournament it promises to be an action-packed event and a real treat for Pehla and ART Premium Sports viewers.