Cricket's biggest moment in the U.S.
Cricket's latest push in the U.S. will be marked this weekend with a first-ever Major League Cricket championship match.
Why it matters: The nascent league is being funded by big names in tech and has launched amid a fierce battle for sports content rights.
Zoom in: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, former Facebook and Dropbox executive Aditya Agarwal, Webex co-founder Subrah Iyar and real estate mogul Ross Perot Jr. are among the MLC's investors.
- The league has raised $120 million to expand and build cricket stadiums and training centers — a clear statement that it's looking at the long game.
Zoom out: Often reported as the world's second-most followed sport, cricket is already commanding billions in global broadcast rights.
- On a per-match basis, the Indian Premier League’s TV and digital deals now rank behind only the NFL, the NYT notes.
The intrigue: While previous attempts at professional cricket here have crashed and burned, MLC co-founders Sameer Mehta and Vijay Srinivasan believe this time could be different — sensing a "cosmopolitan turn" in the country's sports viewing tastes.
- Along with the West Indies, the U.S. will co-host the 2024 T20 World Cup, a major cricket event that recently drew over 6 billion video views.