IPL news February 17, 2014

BSkyB secure IPL from 2015

ESPNcricinfo staff

The IPL will only be available on pay TV in the UK from 2015 after BSkyB secured a three-year rights deal for the tournament.

Currently the IPL is available on free-to-air digital channel ITV4 which provides UK viewers rare access to terrestrial cricket now that only international highlights of England's home matches are available to those without Sky through Channel 5.

When ITV gained the IPL in 2010 it was the first live cricket on free-to-air TV in the UK since all international rights went to BSkyB in 2006.

BSkyB's strong hold on major UK sports rights is being challenge by the presence of BT Sport which launched last year and has shown itself to have deep pockets by claiming the lucrative UEFA Champions League. There are suggestions that BT will challenge BSkyB for the next batch of ICC broadcast rights.

However, while the IPL remains a sought-after product by broadcasters in the UK, English cricketers have proved less of a drawcard for franchises with only Kevin Pietersen - now a former England player - securing a deal for 2014 tournament.