Sony Entertainment Network has managed to pull it out of the bag yet again by snapping up a ten-year deal to exclusively show Indian Premier League matches.

Today’s acquisition is in collobaration with the Singapore-based World Sports Group, which is worth over 500 million.

“We are absolutely delighted…we have what we believe to be the best deal for the Indian Premier League and Indian cricket fans,” board vice-president Lalit Modi said in a statement.

The league, expected to feature many of the game’s top players, is an effort to counter an unofficial Indian Twenty20 league whose inaugural edition was held late last year.

The 44-day IPL starts on 18th April and will feature eight franchises in its inaugural season, each squad containing 16 players.

Teams will play home and away games leading up to a grand final. The first year will feature 59 matches played in late afternoon for prime-time television.

Kunal Dasgupta, chief executive of Sony Entertainment Television India, said: “At Sony Max and WSG we have done some pioneering work in showcasing cricket in an entertaining and informative way and we will continue to innovate and extend the excitement of cricket through the IPL.”

The deal is likely to go down in history as the biggest ever telecast rights deal in Indian cricket.

At the time of filing this article, BizAsia.co.uk was awaiting UK telecast details. Keep it with us for more.

Extracts from Reuters UK