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Ultimate table tennis extends broadcast deal with Viacom18 expands player roster

Ultimate Table Tennis has partnered with Viacom18 to stream the upcoming season of the league. UTT 2024 is scheduled to take place in Chennai from August 22 to September 7, accessible on JioCinema for free and airing on the Sports18 Network.

The collaboration marks the second year between UTT and Viacom18 after last season. Reportedly, the franchise-based league, now in its fifth season, will feature 17 days of matches broadcasted in English and Hindi.

Launched in 2017 and promoted by Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani under the Table Tennis Federation of India, UTT has gained recognition in the sport, as per the company. The league has contributed to India’s qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“Our partnership with Viacom18 highlights our mutual dedication to expanding table tennis in India. With their mandate for the Paris 2024, Viacom18 will showcase our top Indian paddlers as they compete on the biggest stage. The transition to UTT 2024 following the Olympics will be seamless. Viacom18’s extensive reach and commitment to sports streaming and broadcasting will ensure that the excitement of UTT 2024 is felt in every corner of the country,” UTT co-promoters Niraj Bajaj and Vita Dani, said.

Last season, Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) reported a viewership of over 33 million across 18 days on JioCinema and the Sports18 Network. This year, UTT is expanding with eight teams, including newcomers Ahmedabad SG Pipers and Jaipur Patriots, alongside PBG Bengaluru Smashers, Dabang Delhi TTC, U Mumba TT, Goa Challengers, Puneri Paltan Table Tennis, and Chennai Lions.

UTT’s additions complement Viacom18’s diverse sporting portfolio, which includes events such as the Olympic Games Paris 2024, Diamond League, select BWF events, BCCI Cricket, TATA IPL, TATA WPL, SA20, Major League Cricket (MLC), and the NBA.

“We are particularly delighted to present the best Indian paddlers such as Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, Manav Thakkar, Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula who will be returning from their Olympic rendezvous as they throw their hat in the ring for UTT 2024,” Hursh Shrivastava, head of strategy, acquisitions, & partnerships , Viacom18 Sports, said.

A total of 48 premier paddlers, including Indian players like Achanta Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sreeja Akula alongside 16 global players such as World No. 9 Bernadette Szocs, World No. 16 Nina Mittelham and Nigeria’s ace player Quadri Aruna, are set to compete in the UTT 2024.

The Player Draft will take place in Mumbai on July 10. Financial Express

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