$385m bumper cricket deal signed

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

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

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