The Indian Badminton League on Saturday announced STAR Sports channels as the host broadcaster for the upcoming League, scheduled to be held from August 14 to 31.
All the 90 matches, including 75 league matches, 10 games in the semi-finals and five ties in the final will be shown live on STAR Sports2 and ESPN channels.
The $ 1-million IBL features six franchisee-based city teams in the inaugural edition of the richest prize-money badminton tournament.
The teams are —— Mumbai Masters, Delhi Smashers, Awadhe Warriors, Hyderabad Hotshots, Banga Beats and Pune Pistons.
“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.
Speaking on this occasion, Ashish Chadha, CEO, Sporty Solutionz, the Commercial Partner of IBL, said, “It’s a smashing platform for IBL and badminton as a sport to be telecast LIVE on one of the biggest broadcasters in the world of sport.
“The association will seek to introduce many landmarks for badminton viewers through use of modern technology.”
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.
IBL’s inaugural match will be between Krrish Delhi Smashers and Pune Pistons.