Mumbai's cricket is set to get a significant boost with Star Sports deciding to telecast local fixtures of the forthcoming season.
A Kanga League match in progress at Cross Maidan last year
In a revolutionary move, local matches will be telecast for the first time in India. The broadcaster has also proposed to buy digital rights of the fixtures so that matches can be streamed live on their website.
The sports broadcast giants have proposed a Rs 1.5 crore sponsorship deal to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for one season. The offer was discussed in the MCA's Managing Committee meeting yesterday and a final meeting with Star executives will be held on August 7 to decide on the terms of agreement.
"It is a good proposal. Star is an established channel and they are involved in covering many sports. So, having them on board will provide a definite boost for our tournaments and cricketers.
"We have called for another Managing Committee meeting to discuss a few more points before finalising the deal," said Ravi Savant, MCA's vice-president.
Suraj Samat, a member of MCA's Marketing Committee who played a key role in getting the sponsorship, told mid-day: "We have some prestigious tournaments with a rich history.
Tournaments like the Dr HD Kanga Cricket League have been a stepping-stone for many great Mumbai cricketers. MCA in itself is an institution for cricket. A lot of our content (matches) was getting wasted. Hopefully, with Star Sports coming in, there will be value to it now.
"There is no dearth of sponsorship, but a right channel was required to capitalise on it. We are glad to have
MCA conducts between 50-60 tournaments and around 2,500 matches in a season. Samat also revealed that Star Sports would play a major role when the Mumbai Premier League, an IPL-style T20 tournament, is conceptualised.
Meanwhile, there's more reason for the MCA to cheer after the Gitanjali group proposed a Rs 2.5 crore media sponsorship deal with the association. "They will help us create a buzz around our local tournaments through the print medium," said Samat.