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ESPN-Star Sports wins TV rights to Bangladesh Premier League cricket

Broadcast rights for the nascent Bangladesh Premier League twenty20 (BPL T20) cricket tournament, which begins today (9 February), have been awarded to the Asian sports network ESPN-Star Sports.

The deal will see all the action from the BPL T20, which is based on the popular Indian Premier League, aired across Asia by ESPN-Star Sports for three seasons beginning 2012.

The matches will be shown live on the broadcaster's Star Cricket or Star Sports channels.

National broadcaster Channel 9 will also show the BPL tournament within Bangladesh.

BPL will see 33 matches as six teams - Barisal Burners, Chittagong Kings, Khulna Royal Bengals, Sylhet Royals, Dhaka Gladiators and Duronto Rajshahi – fight it out to be crowned champions. All the matches will be played in either Chittagong or Dhaka.

"We are delighted to support the expansion of T20 to Bangladesh by bringing this exciting new tournament to cricket fans in Asia," said Joyee Biswas, director of programming, ESPN-Star Sports.

"As the rights holder for some of the globe's best cricket events including ICC World T20, CL T20, India-Australia test matches, ODI tri-series between Australia, India and Sri Lanka, and England-Australia ODIs, we are pleased to add Bangladesh Premier League to our portfolio of top cricket coverage."

Enayetur Rahman, managing director, Channel 9, added: "As the first general entertainment channel of Bangladesh with a mix of sports and entertainment, and the producer of BPL T20, we are pleased to partner with ESPN-Star Sports to bring BPL to cricket lovers and look forward to a long term relationship."

The opening season of the BPL will run from 9-29 February. Most days will feature either one or two matches, with the first beginning at 2pm local time and the second at 6.30 pm.

The tournament's opening ceremony starts at 5pm local time today (9 February).

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