Broadcast boost for new cricket competitions
Cricket Kenya has granted South African sports channel SuperSport the broadcast rights to two new domestic cricket competitions in the country.
Supersport will show live coverage of the East African Premier League Twenty20 tournament and the 50-over East Africa Cup, both of which will begin in July and run until October. In addition to the live coverage, the channel will screen a weekly show featuring highlights, player profiles and special reports.
Both tournaments will feature six teams, four from Kenya comprising two from Nairobi, one from the Coast region and one from Rift Valley, and two from neighbouring Uganda. In order to create a more equal tournament, national players from the two countries will be split equally between the sides, with reports suggesting overseas players could be drafted in future years.
Gary Rathbone, head of Supersport Africa stated: “Our broadcast partnership with Cricket Kenya is an exciting opportunity for us all and we are looking forward to playing our part in helping to raise the profile of cricket in Kenya. We at Supersport are looking forward to being part of this great stride forward in the development of cricket in Kenya, once again confirming our commitment to the future of not just cricket, but all Kenyan sport for all Kenyan sports fans everywhere.”
Cricket Kenya’s chief executive, Tom Sears, echoed those sentiments, adding: “This new partnership is a massive boost to what is a hugely exciting development for East African cricket. We have developed the competitions to improve the playing standards in the region, bridge the gap between domestic leagues and international competition and raise the profile of Kenyan and Ugandan cricket in East Africa and beyond. Supersport has enormous expertise in top level sport throughout Africa and we could not wish for a better partner. The coverage will give the game unprecedented exposure and present fantastic opportunities to commercial partners who we are currently looking to recruit.”
Starting in July, the teams will play ten East African Premier League matches and ten East Africa Cup games on Saturdays and Sundays respectively; the top four teams in each competition will then enter a playoff stage, with finals of the inaugural season to be held on 1st and 2nd October.