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TEST MATCH CRICKET AVAILABLE ON THE WEB
 
25th May 2007

ECBtv provides live action across Europe

As the West Indies Test Series is firmly underway in England, the question begs to be asked - How does a fanatical cricket fan in one of Europe’s 27 ICC member countries watch live action from the game that they love?

The answer comes in the form ECBtv, which thanks to a new deal forged between ICC Europe, ECB and Premium TV, is accessible through the ICC Europe website (www.ecc-cricket.com) – the official site for European Cricket.

The England & Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) official broadband TV service, ECBtv was launched in May last year, and proved a valuable resource for thousands of cricket fans across Europe . More than 83,000 people participate in the game throughout Europe ’s 27 Associate and Affiliate member countries and many of these have little or no access to televised international cricket action.

The announcement came on the 3rd Day of the of the 1st npower Test, West Indies v England, at Lord’s last Saturday, when representatives from Europe’s national cricket boards, together with commercial partners, sponsors, and other key figures in the world of European cricket came together for European Presidents’ Day.

ICC Regional Development Manager, Richard Holdsworth, made the announcement in the presence of ECB Chairman David Morgan and Chief Executive David Collier. ECB Commercial Director John Perera commented, "ECB is pleased and excited to be able to offer Europe ’s cricket fans access to ECBtv and it is hoped that it will take the game to previously uncharted areas, inspiring people to get involved in this great sport. "Delivering live video coverage via broadband to European territories has brought people closer to the game than ever before. With the service now accessible through the ICC Europe website we hope that even more cricket fans from even further a-field can enjoy the action.”

ECBtv will show the npower Test and one-day international matches live to certain territories, as well as match highlights, exclusive interviews, press conferences, coaching master classes and many other features to a global audience.

Premium TV has agreed that a proportion of the subscription fees will be fed back into the ICC European Development Program to help the development of cricket in Europe .

Richard Holdsworth , ICC European Development Manager, commented, “Coverage of cricket throughout Europe is sparse to say the least, due to current broadcasters not being willing to air the sport in developing European countries. “This agreement with ECB and Premium TV is a huge boost to all the cricket lovers around Europe ’s 27 ICC member countries and will allow them to access live footage and highlights of cricket at the highest level. “This will allow these countries to further promote the sport and particularly give young people a chance to see cricket played by the world’s best.”

The ICC Europe website had over 1.7 million visitors in 2006 so it is hoped that this new venture will reach far and wide across Europe bringing cricket into the homes of thousands. The live feeds can be accessed through the ICC Europe website by clicking on the ECBtv banner at the top of the home page www.ecc-cricket.com. This takes you to the ECBtv homepage where cricket stakeholders and supporters can subscribe and access live streams for as little as £2.99.

The agreement comes in time for the 2nd npower Test against the West Indies at Headingley where play starts at 11am on Friday 25th May.