ATN offers Canadians IPL 2010 cricket

TORONTO, March 11 /CNW/ - Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) (TSX-SAT) announced today that it will broadcast exclusively in Canada the third season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The 2010 IPL comprises eight elite cricket teams playing 60 games from March 12, 2010 to April 25, 2010. It is a tournament of all star international players in a cricket league on par with North America's National Hockey League (NHL) or National Football League (NFL). This is the third exciting season of a fabulous five year agreement where ATN has secured the exclusive IPL TV rights for Canada and exclusive radio rights across North America.

"IPL is the most exciting new phenomena in World Cricket and we are delighted that we can offer it to more Canadians through more cable, satellite and Telco distributors than ever before," said Shan Chandrasekar, President and CEO of ATN, Canada's pioneer South Asian Broadcaster. ATN is Canada's largest distributor of World Class Cricket including the ICC World Cup 2011 and the ICC T-20 World Cup 2010.

ATN will broadcast the 2010 games live on Pay per View across Canada on Bell TV and Shaw Direct; in British Columbia and Alberta on Shaw Cable and TELUS; in Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Sasktel and MTS respectively; and in Ontario and New Brunswick on Rogers Cable. Running commentary for IPL Season 3 will also be aired live on ATN Asian Radio across North America on XM Radio.

The IPL's third season will be held in India. The league's first two seasons have garnered millions of viewers worldwide. Multinational corporations, entrepreneurs and top Bollywood stars lend their support to individual teams, adding to the excitement. Some of the highlights of Season 2 were players such as Mathew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist who scored approximately 500 runs each during the series.

New players to watch out this year will be Kieron Pollard of West Indies and Shane Bond of New Zealand who were picked for USD 750,000 each. Other new players picked this year are Kemar Roach of West Indies, Wayne Parnell of South Africa, Mohammad Kaif of India, Eoin Morgan of England, Damien Martyn of Australia, Justin Kemp of South Africa, Thissara Perera of Sri Lanka, Adam Voges of Australia, Yusuf Abdulla of South Africa.

Last year English duo Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff attracted the largest bids at $1.55 million USD each. Vijay Mallya's Royal Challengers made the successful bid for Pietersen while Flintoff joined Chennai Super Kings. They also overtook MS Dhoni of Chennai Super Kings as the most expensive player in the IPL who earned $ 1.5 million USD.

Ownership of the IPL teams is an impressive mix of corporate India and Bollywood interests who view IPL as a serious business venture. Ownership includes Reliance Industries, for instance, which paid $111.9 million USD for Mumbai Indians while the UB Group shelled out $111.6 million USD for Bangalore Royal Challengers. The IPL has the flair and the flamboyance of Bollywood as well with Superstars like Shah Rukh Khan paying $75.09 million USD for Kolkata Knight Riders and Preity Zinta picking Kings XI Punjab for $76 million USD. Emerging Media, associated with Lachlan Murdoch, paid $67 million USD for Rajasthan Royals. The international broadcasting rights for the IPL were sold for almost a billon US dollars.

Canadian interest in cricket is growing with increasing immigration from many countries where the sport attracts fervent followers including South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) the West Indies, England, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. South Asians now rank as Canada's largest visible minority, numbering more than 1.2 million people in the 2006 Census.

ATN along with CTV and Rogers Media, was a Broadcast Partner for the recently concluded Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. ATN created history by delivering more than 100 hours of live coverage in six languages on seven channels across Canada.

ATN operates 23 television channels as well as the ATN Asian Radio on XM 159, the only Satellite Radio channel serving North America's South Asian Diaspora. ATN video content is also available on any Bell mobile phone that supports video. ATN has programming alliances with leading international broadcasters. To subscribe to ATN and for more details about the cricket schedules and times of live broadcast please visit www.asiantelevision.com or contact your local service provider.

The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. We rely on safe harbour provision.

SOURCE Asian Television Network International Limited

For further information: For further information: B. Fulton, CFO, Asian Television Network International Limited, Newmarket, Ontario, L3Y 7B6, (905) 836-6460


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