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Mon 21 Mar 2011 06:51 PM

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Dubai firm wins rights to feed top sporting events online

Channel 2 Group says it aims to be world's largest sports internet radio player by 2015

Dubai firm wins rights to feed top sporting events online
Action from the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which is being broadcast on Channel 2s new internet radio channel. (Getty Images)

Dubai based Channel 2 Group on Monday announced the Middle East launch of its $30m internet radio initiative, which aims to become the largest of its kind in the world by 2015.

Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev launched www.cricketfreeq.com, the official internet radio for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, which has just reached the knockout phase.

Channel 2 Group said it has acquired exclusive radio broadcast rights for some of the world's leading sports properties including the cricket World Cup, Barclays English Premier League football, the 2011 World Cup rugby tournament, Wimbledon, Australian Open and US Open tennis and major golf tournaments such as the US PGA, The Masters, and the Ryder Cup.

The company said www.cricketfreeq.com was the first global internet radio channel on cricket and will feature famous names like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Sir Clive Lloyd as expert commentators.

Ajay Sethi, chairman, Channel 2 Group, said: "We plan to emerge as the largest sports internet radio player globally by 2015.

"Initially we plan to build a global audience for cricket and then subsequently launch platforms for other sports. The power of internet radio is that it allows the broadcast to capture audiences of common diasporas across geographies.

"Radio has traditionally been a local medium, but with the advent of 3G and high broadband speeds there is a potential to transform radio into a glocal media with seamless integration across devices and platforms including terrestrial radio."

He added that the company would invest $30 million in the first phase of the project.

"We will look for strategic investors in different markets or verticals as we grow" added Amit Tripathi, director of the initiative.

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