Howzat! TVNZ Scores Cricket Rights+

TVNZ has confirmed it will pick up most of Spark Sport’s rights in the wake of the telco quitting the streaming market, including those to New Zealand Cricket games.

With live sport playing an increasingly strategic role in live streaming, the cricket deal especially is a huge win for the multi-platform TVNZ.

Here’s the media release:

TVNZ to become the home of New Zealand Cricket

TVNZ will be the new home of New Zealand Cricket in Aotearoa from the 2023/24 season through to the end of the 2025/26 season, under an arrangement announced with Spark this morning.

As Spark Sport exits the sports streaming market, the partnership will see TVNZ take over the transmission for many of the sports currently available on the platform, including, all BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS tests, T20 matches and one day internationals played in New Zealand, as well as all Super Smash matches.

“We are really excited to be the home of New Zealand Cricket for the coming years,” says TVNZ Director of Content Cate Slater.

“Te Reo Tātaki TVNZ has always been focused on bringing the moments that matter to New Zealanders, and we are looking forward to helping all Kiwis get behind our national cricket teams with live coverage across our channels and TVNZ+.”

Cricket remains one of New Zealand’s most popular sports, not only in terms of participation but also in terms of viewing. Over the course of the 2020/2021 season, the six New Zealand cricket matches screened on TVNZ reached 1.86m viewers.

TVNZ’s Commercial Director, Jodi O’Donnell says, “We are thrilled to be announcing this partnership and excited about the commercial opportunities this will create in the future.

“We know having free-to-access sport available for New Zealanders is important, cricket matches bring in big audiences, so it’s a positive partnership for everyone.”

“This is a very good outcome for the game of cricket in New Zealand,” says New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White.

“Having cricket on TVNZ safeguards the professional game; it safeguards the community game, and it provides unprecedented access for Kiwi cricket fans.

“We’re delighted New Zealanders can look forward to this level of free-to-air coverage – it’s a game-changer for the sport in this country.”

As well as New Zealand cricket, TVNZ anticipates bringing the majority of sport currently available on the Spark Sport platform to TVNZ’s channels and TVNZ+, subject to the approval of the relevant rightsholders.

Spark and TVNZ are progressing discussions with those rightsholders and expect to announce a definitive list early next year.

“TVNZ has enjoyed successful collaborations with Spark Sport in the past with Rugby World Cup 2019 and New Zealand Cricket events,” continues Robinson.

“This new arrangement represents an even deeper partnership. Spark has provided a superb sports-viewing experience for cricket fans over the past few years, and we are excited to be working together with them to pick up that mantle and make one of our favourite national sports available for everyone.”

The partnership with Spark Sport will take effect from 1 July 2023.

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