Cricket’s most prolific domestic competition has become the latest victim in Sky’s battle for sports coverage domination & will be lost from terrestrial TV.
The glamour of being sold for a certain amount of money based on the player’s skills, and the teams getting the money needed to buy the best players through advertising, means that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has introduced a focus on money in a way that cricket has never before seen.
The IPL is one of the first domestic T20 competitions to make a name for itself on the world circuit. Now in its seventh year, the auction attracts as much attention as the competition itself. This year, there was particular attention put on England’s recently-ousted Kevin Pietersen and while he did not reach anywhere near the amounts the media expected – and those of us who never saw his worth in the first place chuckled quietly – he was just one of the mainstream players who attracted attention from around the globe.
Usually, it is ITV who have the exclusive rights to broadcast the matches. It is the only live cricket to feature on terrestrial television and with around 72 matches being played in the preliminary stages and then of course the prestigious closing matches and the final, there was a good couple of months of cricket for those who do not wish to subscribe to Sky television.
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This year however, will be the last time terrestrial viewers will be able to see the IPL on ITV. Sky, in their never-ending bid for sports coverage domination, have secured the exclusive broadcasting rights for a minimum term of three years as of 2015.
This is just the latest in a long line of new contracts which Sky have secured as the battle against BT in particular for exclusive rights to sporting events. While BT have won the battle for many of the football competitions, Sky are leading the way with cricket as they have the rights for all England’s matches home and away as well as cricket in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies and India.
Sky boast outstanding coverage of all of their sports by having exclusive coverage rights for the events but also offering viewers the chance to see pundits, usually former players, critique and analyse the game. They also have an exceptional track record for beating all competitors out of the park – need we look back over the first decade of the new millennium and remember ITV Digital and ESPN as they attempted to out-do Sky for digital service? No.
For more information on How to contact Sky and the customer services they offer – sports and otherwise – contact sky at their Sky customer helpline .