ESPN Enters 3-YR Deal with ESS for Exclusive Caribbean Rights to Airtel Champions League T20 Cricket

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ESPN Enters 3-YR Deal with ESS for Exclusive Caribbean Rights to Airtel Champions League T20 Cricket

Features 10 Elite Clubs in 23 Matches, including Caribbean T20 Winner Guyana Will Air on ESPN and ESPN2 in the Caribbean Beginning Sept. 10

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August 26, 2010, Miami, FL– ESPN has entered into a three-year agreement with ESPN STAR Sports (ESS), Asia’s No. 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 Cricket (ACLT20) 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 its 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:

• Chennai Super Kings (DLF Indian Premier League – India)

• Mumbai Indians (DLF Indian Premier League – India)

• Royal Challengers Bangalore (DLF Indian Premier League – India)

• Victorian Bushrangers (KFC Twenty20 Big Bash – Australia)

• South Australian 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)

• Guyana (West Indies Domestic Twenty20 Champions)

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).

The Airtel Champions League T20 promises to feature the most illustrious names in the game of cricket such as Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mahela Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, Rahul Dravid, Shaun Tait, Jean-Paul Duminy, Ajantha Mendis, Anil Kumble, Matthew Hayden, Ross Taylor, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Jacob Oram, Doug Bollinger, Dwayne Bravo, Zaheer Khan, Cameron White, Michael Hussey and David Hussey.

ESPN STAR Sports is the global television production partner and exclusive commercial rights partner for the Champions League T20 till 2018.

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About the Airtel Champions League Twenty20

An initiative of three founding members – the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa – the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 is a platform where the world’s best domestic teams get the opportunity to pit their cricketing skills against each other. ESPN STAR Sports is the commercial rights holders for Champions League Twenty20 for a period of 10 years. The 2010 edition of the tournament will take place in South Africa from 10th – 26th September.

About ESPN STAR Sports

ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between two of the world’s leading cable and satellite broadcasters. As Asia’s biggest sports content provider, ESPN STAR Sports combines the strengths and resources of its parent companies – Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.) and News Corporation Limited (STAR) – to deliver a diverse array of international and regional sports to fans across multiple platforms.

ESPN STAR Sports features a comprehensive portfolio of multimedia assets including its television networks (ESPN, STAR Sports, STAR Cricket, ESPNEWS, ESPN HD), broadband network (ESPN Player), digital content services (espnstar.com, mobileESPN), and its on-ground Event Management Group with the aim to engage and entertain sports fans anytime, anyplace.

ESPN STAR Sports showcases an unparalleled variety of premier sports from around the globe featuring some of the most iconic sports events to a cumulative reach of over 300 million viewers in Asia through its 21 television networks and 1 broadband network, each localized to deliver differentiated programming to meet diverse needs of Asian sports fans.

About ESPN International

ESPN International is a division of ESPN, Inc., the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company. ESPN International has grown to include ownership — in whole or in part — of 45 television networks outside of the United States, as well as a variety of brand extension businesses, which allow ESPN to reach fans in over 200 countries and territories.

ESPN International business entities include television, radio, print, internet, broadband, wireless, consumer products, and event management. ESPN International and its holdings maintain offices or production facilities in key locations around the world including Bangalore, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Miami, Montpellier, Mumbai, Paris, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taiwan, and Toronto.

ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products.

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