LONDON — Indian cricket is coming to America.
Indian digital satellite cinema network UFO Moviez announced Friday that it has begun broadcasting the ongoing Indian Premier League cricket tournament live to 12 cinemas and four public venues in the U.S. and to nine cinemas in the U.A.E.
The U.S. broadcasts will be in parts of California, Georgia, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and Washington where there is a dense population of Indian diaspora. In the U.A.E. the venues are across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.
The company plans to increase the number of venues in the U.S. and the U.A.E. to a 100 from next year’s edition of the tournament.
UFO is beaming the tournament live to more than 800 of its 1700-theater network in India and to more than 300 public venues in the country.
The IPL is tremendously popular in India and adding to the glamour value is the fact that Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty are amongst team owners who regularly appear at matches to support their teams. Apart from them, virtually every film star of note in the country attends matches to cheer on the teams they support, adding to the popularity of the tournament.