UAE broadcaster bags IPL telecast rights

March 31st, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, March 31 (IANS) Dubai-based Arab Digital Distribution (ADD) has won a 10-year contract for exclusive coverage right of the Indian cricket board-promoted Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament. ADD’s ART Prime Sport will broadcast live the action spread over 44 days to viewers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan and Libya, an ADD statement said here Monday.

“The IPL rights further validate our commitment of providing the finest Asian entertainment to our viewers,” Vinod D’Mello, executive vice-president for group strategy and planning at ADD, said in the statement.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president and IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi said: “The BCCI-IPL would like to welcome ART Prime Sport, part of ART, as its newest broadcast partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and is pleased to be working with ART Prime Sport on the broadcast of the DLF-IPL in the MENA.”

Scheduled to start April 18, eight city team franchisees - 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 - will be playing each other over 44 days.

Each team in the tournament has a pool of 16 players. According to the rules of the tournament, 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, at least four of the players in each team should belong to the catchment area, where the team is based.

“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,” Venu Nair, chief executive for southeast Asia at World Sports Group, the sports marketing company for IPL, said in the statement.

Earlier this month, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had given official approval to the league.

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