WICB and ESPN reach agreement for broadcast of Caribbean T20


ESPN continues to build multi-platform cricket offering for Windies fans…Will air Caribbean T20 to more than 61 million households worldwide…Canada to make regional T20 debut in July 22-31 showpiece event

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ESPN and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have reached an agreement for the broadcast of the inaugural Caribbean T20 Tournament, July 22 to 31, 2010. The tournament, which will form part of the annual WICB calendar, will have the first phase played in Barbados (July 22 to 25) with the second phase in Trinidad (July 28 to 31).

In the Caribbean, fans will be able to view all the matches LIVE on the two ESPN Caribbean networks ESPN and ESPN2, while highlights will be available the following day on Caribbean Media Corporation stations. The ground-breaking agreement also includes unprecedented live multimedia coverage on ESPN digital platforms including ESPN3.com, ESPN, Inc.’s U.S. broadband platform, and ESPN360 broadband platforms in Australia and Latin America. The agreement also includes television coverage on ESPN networks in the UK, the Middle East and Africa, and in Australia and New Zealand.

"The West Indies Cricket Board is extremely pleased to be staging the Caribbean T20 Tournament and we believe it will be spectacular event for the players of the region and the millions of fans who witness it," said Dr Ernest Hilaire, CEO of the WICB. "It is great to see we have formed a relationship with ESPN to ensure that our players and cricket get global exposure and provide cricket lovers all over the world with the opportunity to get a taste and feel of cricket in the Caribbean once again."

"ESPN is thrilled to add this premier Caribbean event to our Caribbean programming line up," Bernard Stewart, vice president, ESPN Caribbean and Maritime Media, said. "Cricket is fundamental to our efforts to forge local relationships to bring the sporting excellence of the Caribbean to sports fans in the region and around the world."

Eight teams will be involved in the Caribbean T20. The West Indies territorial teams: Barbados, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Windward Islands will be joined by Canada. There is a huge incentive to win the Caribbean T20, with the leading Caribbean team going on to represent the West Indies at the Airtel Champions League in South Africa in September.

The format for the Caribbean T20 Tournament will be two groups of four teams. There will be a round-robin stage in each group – each team will play three matches – with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals will advance to final while the losing semi-finalists will play a third-place play-off. The matches in Barbados will be played on July 22 to 25 and the matches in Trinidad will be played on July 28 to 31, with August 1 as the reserve day for the finals.