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Update: Al Jazeera Sport televising cricket for the first time
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MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports (ESS), the exclusive Asian rights holder for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) domestic and home international matches, has entered into an agreement with Al Jazeera Sport for the television broadcast rights of the Friends Life Twenty20 2012.

The series, which began on 12 June and will go on till 25 August, will see Al Jazeera Sport televising cricket for the first time ever with live coverage of 25 matches in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The deal between ESS and Al Jazeera Sport, the biggest sport broadcaster in the pan-Arab and Mena region, covers terrestrial, cable and satellite television rights.

ESS SVP Corporate Development & Cricket Rights Anurag Dahiya said, “We are pleased with the strong interest shown by Al Jazeera Sports in cricket. These arrangements promise to extend the popularity and reach of ECB’s events with the aim of raising the profile of the sport in the region, building on from last year’s highly successful ICC Cricket World Cup.”

ESS licenses ECB broadcast rights throughout North Africa and the Middle East along with various other parts of Asia. In addition, ESS’ international cricket syndication business includes global distribution of marquee properties such as International Cricket Council events and Champions League T20 as well as Cricket Australia’s events (in Asia and North Africa).

ESS had recently renewed its media rights deal with ECB for Asian market after committing to pay a premium of $200 million for the seven year deal that runs till 2019.

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