Mumbai: The Indian Premier League (IPL) has struck a deal by which British network ITV will telecast all 50 matches of the third season of the Twenty20 cricket tournament to 20 million homes.
This is the third season of the IPL, with the previous two seasons broadcast in the UK exclusively on Setanta. After the pay-TV sports broadcaster was forced to wind up its operations in Britain last June, the rights were once more up for grabs.
ITV announced yesterday it had secured the UK broadcasting rights to this year's IPL Twenty20 cricket competition, which gets underway in a week. It will showcase some of the sport's biggest stars, including Kevin Pietersen, Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar.
ITV will show 59 live games over the 45-day tournament, which begins next Friday, on its ITV4 channel, as well as its website, ITV.com. Zai Bennett, director of digital channels and acquisitions at ITV, said it was an "exciting acquisition for one of the UK's fastest-growing digital channels".
Modi also said IPL was facilitating talks between official broadcaster Sony MAX and news channels, which have threatened to boycott the matches due to differences over post-match broadcasts.