Emirati telco Etisalat has acquired the exclusive media rights of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2021 in the Middle East and North Africa as part of a “ground-breaking collaboration which will provide the largest ever reach for an ICC event in the region”.
As part of the agreement, Etisalat has signed a partnership with the subscription video-on-demand service StarzPlay to ensure wider availability throughout Mena.
Etisalat has signed a sublicensing agreement with Star TV Network for the World Cup as Star currently holds the global ICC media rights in a deal worth $2.1bn over eight years, from 2015-16 to 2022-23.
Originally, the pay-television operator OSN had signed a deal to hold the rights to the ICC events in this region until the end of 2023 but the company shut down in 2019 citing piracy as the reason for its decision.
Commenting on the partnership, Danny Bates, chief commercial officer at StarzPlay, said, “This is prestigious win for us, and we thank our long-standing associates, Etisalat as well as the Star TV Network, for their support. With cricket widely followed in the region, we are bridging a gap for our subscribers, who can now effortlessly watch all the live cricket action from this exciting T20 championship. Our aim is to become the ultimate TV entertainment destination and we will continue to explore new and innovative ways to offer the best sporting experience for our subscribers.”
Harry Griffith, head of the syndication at Star, said, “This is a ground-breaking collaboration which will provide the largest ever reach for an ICC event in the region. We are delighted to associate with Etisalat and StarzPlay to enhance the coverage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup across the Middle East. With the event being staged in the UAE and Oman it is crucial the tournament is more accessible than ever before. This is a truly exciting juncture for all cricket fans in the Middle East.”