ESPN has announced a multiyear rights deal with Nimbus Sport International (NSI), a sports management company based in Singapore, to provide exclusive live coverage of all Bangladesh home International cricket matches on ESPN360.com. While most American sports fans my ask "why?" the answer is simple. Cricket has a huge worldwide following that ignites national passions and fan fervor. That means eyeballs and revenue for ESPN.
Here is the press release from ESPN.
ESPN360.com and Nimbus Sport Enter into Multi-Year Rights Agreement for Bangladesh Cricket
Three-year deal features Bangladesh home International cricket matches against top-tier international teams including India, Pakistan, England and Australia, among others
ESPN and Nimbus Sport International (NSI) have reached a multiyear rights deal for exclusive live coverage of all Bangladesh home International cricket matches on ESPN360.com. The three-year agreement will give fans in the U.S. access to the games for the remainder of this season through March 2012.
“Bangladesh cricket presents a great opportunity to give the U.S. exposure to one of the most popular international sports scenes,” said Damon Phillips, vice president, ESPN360.com. “The addition of cricket to our programming line-up represents the depth of ESPN360.com’s sports coverage from around the world. We look forward to bringing the excitement and passion of cricket to veteran fans while also introducing this dynamic sport to new audiences.”
Yannick Colaco, COO Nimbus Sport, said “We are pleased to welcome ESPN360.com to our global family of licensees for BCB cricket. With its presence in over 50 million U.S. broadband homes, ESPN360.com provides Bangladesh cricket an ideal platform in the USA with which its profile can continue to grow.”
The Bangladesh home International schedule features match-ups against some of the world’s best cricket clubs, including India and former Asia Cup champions Pakistan.
The current schedule:
January 4-13, 2010
Tri-Series vs. India & Sri Lanka
January 17-28, 2010
February 28 - March 24, 2010
vs. New Zealand
December 2010 - January 2011
April - May 2011
vs. West Indies
vs. Sri Lanka
In-depth pre- and post-coverage following the Bangladesh cricket schedule will be available on ESPNcricinfo.com.