Times Internet owned Willow TV, a US-based sports broadcaster has bagged exclusive media rights for the United States, for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 T20 tournament. The broadcaster had earlier bagged IPL media rights in previous versions of the tournament as well, including in 2014. Willow TV will use the broadcasting rights to provide live coverage of IPL 2017 on TV and digital platforms. The company mentions that it will start broadcasting all IPL matches starting from April 5. The series includes 60 different matches played over 47 days in multiple venues across India.
Last year, Willow TV said it had 80% of all cricket rights in the US. It had streaming and broadcast rights for the ICC T20 tournament that took place last year, and also has rights for the ICC World Cup in 2019. Willow TV claims to have reached a viewership of 1.4 million households in 2016, when it broadcast ICC T20.
Times Internet acquisition
Willow TV was acquired by Times Internet for $100 million in March last year. At that time, the company also acquired all of Willow TV’s media/streaming rights acquisitions, primarily to focus on the cricket audience in the US market. The Willow TV channel and its associated services are distributed via satellite, cable, IPTV and online platforms in a variety of subscription packages, and is also available on leading pay-per-view television platforms in the US. More details on the acquisition, including a failed acquisition, here.