NEW DELHI: Times Internet, the digital venture of the Times of India group, will acquire US-based cricket broadcaster Willow TV International in a USD 100 million (around Rs 673 crore) deal.
“Times (Internet) has committed USD 100 million to the purchase of Willow and our primary investment into the business – for rights acquisitions, marketing, and to grow cricket in the US market,” Times Internet Director Satyan Gajwani said in a statement.
For Times Internet, Willow would complement its own online cricket platform Cricbuzz.
“Willow is complimentary to our existing audience and presence with cricbuzz.com, in a market with high-value, affluent consumers with a propensity to pay for content,” he added.
Named after English willow tree from which cricket bats are made, Willow is one of the fastest growing sports networks in the US, featuring cricket matches and events and it is widely distributed by satellite, cable, IPTV and OTT platforms, Times Internet said in its statement.
Commenting on the deal, Willow TV International founder and CEO Vijay Srinivasan, said: “With the backing of The Times of India Group and its assets, I am confident that we can jointly build one of the premier sports businesses in the US.”
From March 8, Willow will exclusively provide live television broadcast and live stream of the ICC World Twenty20 matches in US.
In parallel, Cricbuzz will exclusively deliver pre-match, in-match, and post-match highlights and coverage of the entire tournament to US digital audiences.