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.
Britain is the largest market for cricket outside India. The deal will allow cricket enthusiasts to follow this year’s IPL on their television sets across the ITV Network, incuding ITV.com and ITV Mobile. The third IPL season begins on 12 March.
“The UK market has traditionally been very difficult to crack and Sky TV (British Sky Broadcasting, UK’s largest pay TV provider) has always been difficult to deal with. That is why this deal with ITV is very huge for us,” said Lalit Modi, chairman of IPL.
IPL has also entered into a five-year deal with vRock Mobile Communications Pvt. Ltd to offer value added services on mobiles, such as score updates, live commentary, post-match and party coverage, match statistics and images. Modi said IPL had pulled in MAXX Group, makers of mobile phones and accessories, as a lead sponsor for strategic time-outs and playoff games. The three-year-deal has been sealed at Rs60 crore, two independent sources said on condition of anonymity.
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.