The oldest and most popular television network in the United Kingdom, ITV has been awarded TV rights for broadcasting this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League in the UK. The IPL was without a television broadcaster in the UK after collapse of Setanta last year. However, IPL had announced that the matches would be streamed online free on Youtube all over the world. ITV bagged the rights for television broadcasting in UK and they will show 59 of the 60 matches this year on one of their digital channels ITV4.
This will also mean that cricket coverage in the UK will return to free-to-air after a long time as ITV4 can be seen free by almost 80 percent of the UK and around 20 million households in the UK should be able to view the matches. The only match that will not be shown, because of a commitment to show British Touring Car Championship racing from Thruxton, is between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils on April 4. It is also a landmark event as live cricket will be shown for the first time since 1970s. The feed will be provided by Sony and will be fronted by presenter Matt Smith and Bollywood actress Mandira Bedi.