Setanta Sports has signed a five-year deal to screen the Indian Premier League cricket in the UK.

The pay-TV broadcaster has signed the UK TV rights for the multimillion-pound annual competition, which begins on Friday 18th April.

Setanta will show all 59 fixtures in the first season, which will begin at 09:30, 13:30 or 14:30 UK time. It will also repeat the games in peak time. The final is due to take place on Sunday 1st June.

Setanta’s Director of Sport Trevor East said: “The Indian Premier League is going to be massive. We’re absolutely thrilled to acquire these rights and add another major sport to Setanta’s programme line-up.

“Twenty20 cricket has been a phenomenal success and this tournament with all its world-class players is sure to capture the imagination of sports fans young and old. I firmly believe the IPL will become a highlight of the international sporting calendar for years to come. That’s why we’ve shown our commitment to it by signing a five-year deal.”

The eight teams teams involved in the tournament – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mohali and Mumbai – will play out 59 games from Friday 18th April, playing on a home and away basis before the semi finals on 30th/31st May and final in Mumbai in June.

Setanta Sports is available on subscription via Sky Digital, Virgin Media, Freeview, BT Vision and Tiscali.

Some excerpts from MediaGuardian.co.uk