ESPN-Star to telecast Afro-Asia Cup

ESPN-Star
Sports bagged the telecast rights of the Afro-Asia Cup after Nimbus opted out
of the deal citing the absence of big names in the tournament.

The Asian
Cricket Council has awarded the worldwide rights for telecasting the second
edition of Afro-Asia Cup to ESPN-Star Sports, the company said in a statement.

The deal
includes exclusive global television broadcast rights of the tournament in
addition to title, on-ground and commercial rights, it said.

However,
the company declined to reveal the value of the deal.

Due to
Nimbus’ non-fulfillment of contractual obligations, the ACC has cancelled its
contract and has now awarded rights to ESPN Star Sports, the statement added.

The
Afro-Asia Cup will be held in

Bangalore
and Chennai in June 2007.

The
broadcaster also has exclusive telecast rights for the next Asia Cup to be
played in May 2008 in

Pakistan.
ESPN-Star Sports had recently bagged the coveted International Cricket Council
global telecast and marketing rights until 2015 as well.

According
to reports, Nimbus Sports had bought the rights for three editions of the
tournament, first played in 2005 in

South Africa, for 12 million
dollars.

“We
will not be part of the event in any way,” Nimbus chief Harish Thawani had
said on Wednesday. “We will not be telecasting the event. Neither will we
be producing nor bringing sponsorship for the matches.”
“We are pleased to extend our relationship with
ESPN-Star Sports with the forthcoming edition of the Afro-Asia Cup. They are
the undisputed leaders in the sports arena in the Asia Pacific region and bring
a lot of value through a large distribution network and presentation of
sports,” ACC CEO Syed Ashraful Huq said.

ESPN
Software India Managing Director R C Venkateish said: “Our distribution
strength will ensure that cricket fans across

India and abroad will be able to
enjoy the telecast of this event.”