UKTV’s free-to-air entertainment channel Dave is continuing its drive into the sports rights market after securing a deal to screen this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League cricket tournament.
The Twenty20 tournament, which starts on June 29 and runs until August 7, will be held across six venues in the Caribbean and for the first time six fixtures will be played in Florida, USA.
Due to the five-hour time difference and with most games taking place overnight when the channel is off-air on Freeview, Dave will instead air full delayed coverage of the majority of matches on the following afternoon at 1.00pm, but five games in the earlier 11.30pm UK time slot will be broadcast live, including the final on Sunday, August 7.
With the CPL now in its fourth year, established stars such as Chris Gayle, AB De Villiers, Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Bravo will all be featuring.
This year the teams will include the likes of Jamaica Tallawahs, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St Lucia Zouks and Antigua Hawksbills all battling it out in an initial group stage format before progressing to knock out matches.
Commenting on the one-year deal, Steve North, Dave general manager, said: “We’re really looking forward to our exclusive coverage of the Hero Caribbean Premier League.
“Dave is committed to bringing more live sport to free-to-air television and we’re proud that we can offer cricket a new home for fans this summer.”
Richard Watsham, director of commissioning for UKTV, said: “Securing exclusive rights to broadcast the Hero Caribbean Premier League is an important development to our sporting portfolio on the channel.
“The CPL is unlike any other domestic cricket tournament; with the first match only a couple of weeks away we are very much looking forward to bringing all of the energy, noise and excitement from the tournament, free to air to our viewers.”
Dave’s one-year deal sees live cricket return to free-to-air television for the first time since 2014, which was the final year of ITV4’s Indian Premier League coverage, and it takes over CPL rights from BT Sport, who covered the tournament from 2013 to 2015.
The pay-TV broadcaster will however be the new home of the Big Bash League from this winter after signing an exclusive five-year deal with Cricket Australia, which includes the next Ashes series in 2017/18.
Dave’s coverage of the Caribbean Premier League starts on June 30 with delayed coverage of Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel v St Lucia Zouks, starting at 1.00pm.
Match coverage from the Caribbean will be provided by sports production company IMG.