CPL's Indian and US rights deals include Facebook element
Indian broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks has retained the live rights to this year’s Caribbean Premier League, the Twenty20 cricket competition based in the West Indies, although the organisers are also seeking to reach a wider audience by offering limited coverage on Facebook.
The 2017 tournament gets under way today and runs until 9 September.
Sony has been the Indian home of the CPL since the launch of the tournament in 2013 and it will be offering season opener between the St Lucia Stars and the Trinbago Knight Riders on the Sony ESPN channel. All other matches will be shown on Sony Six and Sony Six HD.
Sony’s deal extends to digital rights and encompasses the Indian subcontinent including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives, plus Afghanistan where, as in the other countries, coverage will be available on digital platform SonyLIV.
In addition, agreement has been reached for the first three overs of each innings to be shown live and for free on Facebook in India in an initiative known as the ‘Hero CPL PowerPlay’.
Hero, the Indian motorcycle manufacturer, is the title sponsor of the competition and the coverage will be available via the Hero CPL Facebook page.
The venture builds on the league’s relationship with Facebook which last year saw it stream every match live in 40 countries, including prominent cricket markets such as Pakistan and South Africa.
Unilad, the popular entertainment content platform, is offering live coverage of all 34 CPL games this season on its Facebook page in the UK, complementing the offering of pay-TV operator BT Sport.
Meanwhile, Willow TV, the USA-based multi-platform cricket broadcaster, has committed to show four matches live and free on Facebook as part of its rights deal for the 2017 CPL.
It marks the first time that Willow TV will be showing the tournament, which was televised by cable and satellite broadcaster One World Sports last year. All the matches will be available live on the internet at www.willow.tv.
For the second year the CPL is visiting USA, with four matches taking place in Fort Lauderdale in Florida this weekend.