Cricket Channel lands in U.S.
DIRECTV on Tuesday launched the nation s first 24-hour cricket channel dedicated to in-depth coverage of the sport.
Available exclusively on DIRECTV, Cricket Plus will showcase rebroadcasts and same day highlights of ICC events including the Cricket World Cup 2007, as well as cricket from the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe. It will continue to broadcast matches live, on a pay-per-view basis, through its CricketTicket package.
The channel is being offered by DIRECTV through an agreement with Dubai-based Taj TV and is available free to subscribers to DIRECTV s HindiDirect and HindiDirect II packages.
With more than five million cricket fans in the U.S., we expect Cricket Plus to be a popular addition to our already extensive lineup of cricket programming, said Aaron McNally, vice president, International Programming, DIRECTV, Inc. Cricket Plus, combined with our DIRECTV CricketTicket subscription package, provides fans with unparalleled coverage of a sport that continues to grow in popularity in the U.S.
Along with in-depth cricket coverage, Cricket Plus will also broadcast daily sports news bulletins, as well as other sports relating to the South Asian community living in the U.S. such as hockey.
Cricket Plus has acquired the rights to broadcast live all the major international hockey events including the men s and women s world cups and the Champions Trophies. The launch of Cricket Plus and DIRECTV s acquisition of international cricket rights over the past year has been part of an expansion of DIRECTV programming services for the diverse ethnic population within the United States.
Cricket is extraordinarily popular among populations from South Asia, West Indies and many other parts of the world.
All other international programming is being offer through the DIRECTV WorldDirect platform, which has launched 45 channels that deliver a wide variety of new programming in multiple foreign-languages, including Russian, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Bengali, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Italian and Ukrainian, to underserved ethnic markets throughout the United States. DIRECTV will continue to expand its international programming platform to reach more ethnic audiences.
DIRECTV customers will need to use a WorldDirect services satellite dish that is capable of receiving both international and English-language programming. In some markets, customers who subscribe to a local channels package will require a second smaller dish.