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April 17, 2009

IPL bowled over by Silverlight coverage

Cricket tournament coverage available online

By Steve Evans

Fans of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament will be able to keep up to date with the latest news via a new Silverlight platform developed in conjunction with Microsoft India.

The IPL is a Twenty20 (a form of the game where teams are limited to 20 overs each) cricket tournament, now in its second season. Before the season starts, the teams have the chance to bid for international cricket starts – such as England’s Kevin Pietersen and Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, who became the most expensive players in the IPL’s history when they signed for Chennai Super Kings and Bangalore Royal Challengers respectively, for $1.55m (£1.1m).

The 2009 tournament was originally scheduled to take place in India but was moved to South Africa after security fears were raised over the clash with the Indian general elections at the start of the tournament.

Video coverage on the IPL website will be based on Microsoft’s cross-browser, cross-platform Silverlight program. The site will broadcast live matches and also provide over 500 hours of live and on-demand video content.

Real time ball-by-ball commentary, scoreboard updates, match schedules, team standings, detailed player profiles and behind the scenes coverage will also be provided. Microsoft’s Deep Zoom technology will be used to enable the website to publish high-res images.

Moorthy Uppaluri, General Manager-DPE, Microsoft India, said: “Microsoft is pleased to partner with TMT for IPL. As the online technology provider of IPL, Microsoft will ensure that the millions of cricket fans in India and around the globe are able to get the best user experience, powered by Microsoft Silverlight technology, and interactive ball-by-ball updates of all the matches on the IPL website.”

During the IPL’s debut season the website (iplt20.com) recorded 50.2 million page views, 10 million visits, and 5 million unique visitors, over the course of the 6 week season.

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