England and Wales Cricket Board has also got a financial short in the arm ahead of the historic return of international cricket with the #raisethebat first Test against the West Indies at the Aegis Bowl, Southampton, today (Wednesday).
ECB has entered into an exclusive media rights deal with streaming platform Spark Sport for the territory of New Zealand.
The New Zealand-based sports streaming service has acquired media rights to all international and domestic cricket matches played in England under the ECB for the next four years.
The deal will kick off with the West Indies Test Tour of England involving three Tests in 21 days, starting at Southampton today with the first Test. The series has been named the #raisethebat series in tribute to key workers who have helped during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also covers the various competitions played under the ECB banner, including all men and women’s home internationals, the County Championship, the Vitality Blast, the Royal London Cup and The Hundred which has garnered plenty of interest from the cricketing world, Spark Sport has reported.
Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch says, “Spark Sport customers can now enjoy compelling year-round cricket coverage with us already securing the rights for the New Zealand Summer of Cricket for the next 6 summers.
“England holds a rich cricket history and the fan base is engaged from grassroots right through to the professional level so it’s great to know that Spark Sport will play a pivotal role in growing the game as a key delivery partner in New Zealand.
“England’s staunch New Zealand fan base can look forward to scheduled future international events of the deal including India’s five Test Tour of England in 2021 and a bumper 2022 Summer which is set to feature Test tours by South Africa and New Zealand, marking the first time the BLACKCAPS will play a Test series in England since 2015.”
England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Commercial Officer Tony Singh says, “This is a great partnership for cricket fans in New Zealand, and we hope viewers will enjoy watching the first international Test cricket to be played since the COVID-19 outbreak with next week’s #raisethebat series between England and the West Indies.
“This deal means fans will also be able to see some of the world’s biggest stars and coaches in the unmissable first season of The Hundred, our action-packed new 100-ball cricket competition which launches next year, and New Zealand’s tour of England in 2022.
“We’re excited to be working with Spark Sport as it pioneers a fresh approach to sports delivery in New Zealand.”
Spark Sport will provide ancillary content which will include highlights packages and interviews.
Earlier on Tuesday, Spark Sport has also reported about the appointment of award-winning UK production company Whisper as their production partner for all New Zealand cricket played on home soil for the next 6 summers.
It will be the company’s first New Zealand production as they expand and bring their creative storytelling to the screens of Kiwi cricket fans through live coverage of all home BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS Internationals and Super Smash matches on Spark Sport and free-to-air on TVNZ for select T20 Internationals and Super Smash matches.