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ESPN launches subscription-based streaming for cricket in US; IPL to get coverage

MUMBAI: ESPN has launched a subscription streaming service for cricket called ESPN Cricket Pass, which can be accessed from computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through a dedicated website and app.

The new service will give access to live and on-demand coverage of the of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) in the US.

The launch of ESPN Cricket Pass draws on the success of ESPN Cricket 2015, thus expanding the network’s suite of digital products to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere.

ESPN vice president digital direct-to-consumer services Damon Phillips said, “The service is a great example of leveraging our long-time investment in technology and digital product development to deliver content that may not yet have enough of a scale audience [in the US, at least] to make sense on our linear channels.”

ESPN Cricket Pass will cater to both passionate and loyal cricket fans and the sport’s growing audience in the US. Phillips mentioned that there are multiple ways viewers can live stream the IPL—Roku and various iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and AirPlay.

“We are in discussions with a number of distributors to offer the IPL 2016 season through pay-per-view on set-top boxes as well,” he added.

In terms of considering other sports beyond cricket for this type of product, Phillips said that the team is aggressively exploring opportunities that do not currently exist on ESPN’s linear networks to serve new audiences. “We’ve done that for years with ESPN3, and we’ll continue to explore where direct-to-consumer services like ESPN Cricket Pass make sense also,” he pointed out.