ESPN signs deal for Airtel Champions League in the Caribbean

Miami, Florida: ESPN, a broadcast partner of the West Indies Cricket Board, has entered into a three-year agreement with ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), Asia's Number 1 sports content provider and the global commercial partner of Champions League T20, for the exclusive Caribbean television, internet and mobile rights to the Airtel Champions League T20 Tournament beginning with the 2010 event September 10 to 26 from South Africa. All 23 matches will air on the ESPN and ESPN2 Caribbean networks.

Mr Manu Sawhney, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports, said: “We are very pleased to bring the exciting world-class T20 cricket action to the Caribbean with ESPN. ACLT20 marks the grand finale of the T20 cricket where T20 champion teams from various countries across the world battle for the ultimate honor -- to be adjudged as the Champion of Champions. And we are committed to showcase this marquee property to cricket fans across the globe and along with our partners this year’s edition will be shown in more than 180 territories across the globe.”

“The Champions League T20 is one of the world’s most respected and anticipated cricket events,” said Bernard Stewart, vice president, ESPN Caribbean and Maritime Media. “After ESPN’s successful live presentation of the Caribbean T20 in July, we are delighted to again showcase Guyana and captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, as well as other talented cricketers from the West Indies who will play in the Champions League T20 matches.  We are continuing our efforts to establish ESPN as a presenter of top-level cricket programming in the region.”

The Champions League Twenty20 made an impressive debut in October 2009 and this year will feature the top T20 teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and the West Indies, all playing for a multi-million dollar prize fund. The 2010 edition will feature 23 matches with the tournament format.

Participating teams include: * Guyana (Caribbean T20 Champions of West Indies)
* Chennai Super Kings (DLF Indian Premier League – India)
* Mumbai Indians (DLF Indian Premier League – India)
* Royal Challengers Bangalore (DLF Indian Premier League – India)
* Victoria Bushrangers (KFC Twenty20 Big Bash – Australia)
* South Australia Redbacks (KFC Twenty20 Big Bash – Australia)
* Warriors (Standard Bank Pro 20 Series – South Africa)
* Highveld Lions (Standard Bank Pro 20 Series – South Africa)
* Central Stags (HRV Cup Twenty20 – New Zealand)
* Wayamba Elevens (Inter-Provincial Twenty20 Cup – Sri Lanka)

Of the ten participating teams, just three will be returning from the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2009 - Royal Challengers Bangalore (India), Victorian Bushrangers (Australia) and Wayamba Elevens (Sri Lanka). ESPN STAR Sports is the global television production partner and exclusive commercial rights partner for the Champions League T20 until 2018.