$385m bumper cricket deal signed
MUMBAI — The $385 million acquisition of TEN Sports is set to make Sony Pictures Networks a major cricket broadcaster in Asia as it seeks to expand its Twenty20dominated portfolio.
Sony Corp-owned SPN holds broadcast rights for the annual cash-rich Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament while also having the rights for the domestic leagues in South Africa and the West Indies.
TEN sports will now add all three formats of international cricket to the network with the broadcast rights of boards in South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
SPN’s biggest competitor Star Sports, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, owns rights to cricket giants India’s home matches, Australia, England and also the International Cricket Council-organised World Cups.
“We have IPL which is the biggest cricket property. That will now be complemented by the rights of five cricket boards that TEN Sports has rights to,” SPN Chief Executive NP Singh told Reuters in an interview.
“We are already the home of international football. We will now get the Uefa Champions League and the Europa League.”
Besides broadcasting the NBA and the NFL in India, SPN also holds rights for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, the under-17 World Cup, and soccer leagues such as Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and the English FA Cup.
With TEN also holding rights for football’s Uefa Champions League, Europa League, French League and English Football League Cup among other sports, it will be a strong mix.
TEN Sports also operates in several countries in South Asia, as well as the Maldives, Singapore, Hong Kong, Middle East and Caribbean, and will help SPN become a household name in those regions. — AFP