STAR Sports2 and ESPN to broadcast Indian Badminton League
The Indian Badminton League (IBL) on Saturday announced STAR Sports2 and ESPN sports channels as the official broadcast partners of the inaugural edition of the tournament.
The inaugural edition of the richest badminton tournament kicks off on August 14 and will comprise of 90 matches, of which 75 are league games, 10 semifinals and five finals.
The $1 million league will see six teams - Mumbai Masters, Delhi Smashers, Awadhe Warriors, Hyderabad Hotshots, Banga Beats and Pune Pistons compete for the coveted title.
“We see a lot of value and scope for niche sports in the country. In fact, we have been making strong strides towards developing a multi-sport content portfolio on our network of channels. We strongly believe that Indian fans would love to consume non-cricket sports as well if the product is packaged well, communicated and presented in an interesting manner,” Vijay Rajput, Chief Operating Officer, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said.
“The IBL fits in well with our overall strategy. It is a unique concept and has the potential of attracting a large fan base for badminton across the country given the presence of the best of national and international talent,” he added.
Badminton Association of India (BAI) President, Akhilesh Das Gupta said live telecast of IBL will boost the game of badminton.
“We welcome STAR Sports into the IBL fraternity and I’m confident that the LIVE telecast of IBL on STAR Sports2 and ESPN will take quality badminton action to millions of homes in India and further boost the game of badminton,” he said.
The IBL which has actors Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone to add glamour to the event, will be played in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad between August 14-31.