Sky Sports has announced a multi-year extension of its broadcast rights deal for cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL).
The new agreement, which also includes digital rights, means that the pay-TV giant will continue to be the exclusive home of the Twenty20 tournament in the UK and Ireland.
Starting with this year’s IPL, Sky Sports will show 60 live matches for each year of the agreement. Sky first took the rights to the tournament in 2015, replacing free-to-air broadcaster ITV 4.
Interest in the IPL in the UK has grown with the increased involvement of British players. Last year, England all-rounder Ben Stokes became the highest paid overseas player in the tournament’s history when he signed a contract worth UK£1.7 million (US$2.4 million) with Rising Pune Supergiant. Stokes was bought for UK£1.4 million (US$1.9 million) by the Rajasthan Royals in this year’s auction, and will be joined by England teammate Jos Buttler.
The 2018 IPL gets underway on 7th April, when reigning champions the Mumbai Indians host the Chennai Super Kings, who are returning to the competition after a two-year suspension.