SPN to broadcast the Karnataka Premier League 2016

MUMBAI: The sports cluster of Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) will broadcast the intra state-level cricket tournament, the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) 2016. After three successful years of broadcast, the network will be telecasting the tournament for the fourth year now. The opening game between the Namma Shivamogga and the Hubli Tigers on 17 September 2016 will telecast on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD at9.30 am.

KPL is an Indian Twenty20 cricket league established by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) and was started in August 2009. The tournament this year is scheduled to be held in two legs, the first in Hubli from 17 to 26 September 2016 and the second in Mysore from28 September to 2 October 2016. The teams of the tournament have been permitted to retain a maximum of four players each ahead of the player auction that was held in August. This edition of KPL will see the participation of eight teams – Bijapur Bulls, Belgavi Panthers, Bellary Tuskers, Hubli Tigers, Mangalore United, Mysuru Warriors, Namma Shivamogga and Rock Stars, which boast of some great talent. Some of the top seeds of Indian cricket like Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, KC Carriapa representing the Bijapur Bulls, the current reigning champions will be seen fighting it out on the field to retain the title for their team. Looking at their performance in the past seasons of KPL, a lot of expectations are riding on talent like Stuart Binny and KL Rahul as well. Upcoming talent like Sreenath Aravind, Kranthi Kumar and Mohammed Taha also form an integral part of the KPL and are players to watch out for. Apart from this, adding to the glam quotient to the tournament this year will be cricketer and reality TV star, NC Aiyappa, who is a part of the Celebrity Rockstars team.

The consumption of cricket as a sport in India is the highest compared to all the other sports. The sports cluster of SPN has been a pioneer in introducing and popularizing the league format of sports in the country. In its short history, KPL has managed to help unearth and develop promising cricketers from the provincial districts of India. With some young and upcoming talent battling it out on the field with great passion and aggression, the tournament is expected to get only bigger this year, making KPL 2016 one of the most awaited cricket leagues to watch out for in the near future.

Sony Pictures Networks Distribution and Sports president Rajesh Kaul said, "KPL started as an experimental format for us and over the past three years it has emerged into a catalyst for the revival of local cricketing leagues. The tournament last year saw a tremendous rise in viewership within the Karnataka belt and we are ready to bring the new season to our audience. With some of the top names from the cricket fraternity participating in the league this year, KPL 2016 is one of the most awaited cricket leagues to look forward to. The league has grown massively and is here to stay in the long run. Promoting league cricket at the grass-root level has been one of our key focus areas and we are positive about the performance this year. We look forward to a great KPL 2016.”

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