For the 16th season of the Indian Premier League, Sky Sport has partnered with DAZN to share broadcasting rights for the first time in history. Sky Sports has been the home of the IPL since the start of the 2020 season.
Both giants of the UK broadcasting industry will share the rights to air every fixture without any exclusivity. It is usually BT Sports who competes with Sky Sports for cricket rights, but DAZN's entry into the market is a new taste of competition.
This announcement by DAZN corner coincides with their recent announcement of their linear channel on UK network. DAZN is working hard to establish their presence in the UK market and this deal would definitely boost their stature.
After the announcement, Sky Sports' director, Bryan Henderson, said:
“The IPL sees the best players from across the world face off in front of a fanatical local audience in search of glory – resulting in some of the most explosive cricket around.
"We're excited to add even more live action to a busy cricketing summer that features both men's and women's Ashes series, the Vitality Blast, and The Hundred, as well as a number of international series for both England's men's and women's teams.”
Chief executive of DAZN Group, Shay Segev also shared his delight and said:
"DAZN is committed to building the world’s ultimate destination for sports fans; this means investing in developing our platform alongside acquiring and delivering premium rights. The IPL is the world’s foremost T20 cricket competition, which features the biggest names in cricket battling it out over 74 matches."
ITV collapse led to Sky Sports and DAZN's collab
As much as Sky Sports wanted the IPL broadcast rights in the UK, the ITV group was looking to shut out Sky Sports with the help of DAZN. However, ITV could not reach an agreement with DAZN which would have allowed them to air 16 of the 74 matches on ITV and the rest on DAZN.
In the end, the deal broke down, giving Sky Sports the opportunity to enter the picture and broadcast IPL season 16 starting on 31st March with Gujarat Titans facing Chennai Super Kings.
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