ITV snap up IPL rights with one quarter of this year’s tournament to be shown on free-to-air TV in the UK alongside main holder DAZN
- ITV are to share a portion of the coverage with main rights holders DAZN
- Comes after Sky Sports decided to walk away from the auction to host coverage
- The UK is the second biggest market for the tournament after India itself
ITV and DAZN have bought live TV rights for this year’s IPL in an innovate deal that will see a quarter of the competition broadcast on free-to-air television.
Sportsmail has learned that the two broadcasters have combined to take the IPL from current rights holders Sky Sports on a five-year deal, with 16 regular season matches to be shown exclusively on ITV and DAZN taking the other 58 games including the play-offs and final.
DAZN are understood to be funding the majority of the deal in their first foray into cricket broadcasting in this country, but have opted to sub-licence some of the games to ITV in an attempt to grow a bigger audience.
The streaming service already hold IPL rights in Australia and South Africa, but the UK is the biggest market outside India. All 74 matches will be shown live.
The IPL has been broadcast by Sky Sports for the last three years with their willingness to walk away from the rights auction a sign of their increasingly cost-conscious approach and desire to focus on the English domestic season and ICC global events.
ITV will show a quarter of this year’s IPL meaning a return of the tournament to free-to-air television in the UK
Sam Curran became the most expensive cricketer of all time in December when he was picked up by the Punjab Kings for £1.85m
BT Sport have snapped up the rights for England tours to New Zealand, Australia and West Indies in recent years, with Sky preferring to concentrate on England’s home season, World Cups and the Hundred.
ITV previously held the rights for the IPL between 2010 and 2014, and are expected to show this year’s competition on ITV4.
The IPL’s domestic TV deal in India with Star Sports is worth £5billion, making it the second most lucrative competition in the world across all sports on a per-match basis at £14m-per-game after the NFL.
The season starts with GT vs CSK on 31 March and the India rights are split between Star (TV) & Viacom (streaming).
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