Beginning this Saturday, the Asian Television Network (ATN) will be offering Canadians the ability to watch matches from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 on Pay-per-view (PPV) television.

The Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket, organised every four years by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC). It is the world's third largest sports event, exceeded only by the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics, and will be televised in over 220 countries to more than 2.2 billion viewers.

Broadcasters offering the matches in standard definition on PPV include: Bell, MTS TV, Rogers Cable, Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct, SaskTel and Telus. High definition versions of the matchers are not available in Canada.

Pricing for the matches will vary depending on your television provider. Bell is offering a complete package of all 49 matches for $199 while other distributors are only offering it on a game by game basis. For example, Shaw Cable is charging $9.99 per game, $39.99 for the Semi-finals and $49.99 for the finals. Sasktel and Telus TV are expected to be charging $19.99 per match. Readers are urged to contact their television provider for exact pricing.

Canadians with a VPN connection to the U.S., can also consider watching the matches on Willow TV , an internet streaming service. The company offers live video streaming to your computer, smartphone or IP connected device at 3 Mbps, 1.2 Mbps and 600 Kbps for $129 U.S.

Backgrounder

The 2011 World Cup is being hosted jointly by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Fourteen national cricket teams are scheduled to compete between February 19th and April 2nd, 2011, with the first match between co-hosts India and Bangladesh. The opening ceremony will be held on February 17th 2011, two days before the start of the tournament.

The World Cup final will take place on April 2nd, 2011 in Mumbai. There will be a total of 49 matches contested by 14 nations in two groups of seven teams. The top four teams from each group will then compete in four Quarter finals, from which the semi-finalists will be decided.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is slated to include the national teams of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Kenya, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.

First held in England in 1975, the Cricket World Cup has grown as a media event with each tournament. The ICC sold the broadcasting rights for the 2011 Cricket World Cup for around US$ 2 Billion to ESPN Star Sports . The 2007 Cricket World Cup sold more than 672,000 tickets and recorded the highest ticketing revenue for a Cricket World Cup.

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