TVNZ has become the exclusive domestic broadcaster for all New Zealand mens and womens international matches at home, as well as Super Smash matches for three years.
The deal between TVNZ and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) will run from the start of the 2023/24 home summer until the end of the 2025/26 season. The decision comes due to Spark’s decision to exit the sports streaming market — announced by the company on Friday morning.
It means that more than 300 international and domestic cricket matches will be screened live on a combination of TVNZ1 and Duke over the agreed three-year period. In addition, the fixtures will also be streamed live on TVNZ+.
The matches will continue to be produced for broadcast by Whisper the same production company utilised by Spark Sport. The new arrangement will officially start in July 2023, with the current home summer programme to be screened on Spark Sport and TVNZ, as usual.
NZC chief executive David White stated the value of NZC’s media rights package remained undiminished and admitted to seeing Spark Sport exit the sports broadcast market, with whom he said the cricket’s governing body enjoyed a very strong relationship since the six-year deal was signed in 2019.
“Spark Sport has contributed significantly to the New Zealand sports environment, by introducing competition to the market, increasing the volume of cricket produced for broadcast, and implementing cutting-edge technology,” White said.
“Notwithstanding the disappointment for Spark Sport, this is a very good outcome for the game of cricket in New Zealand. It 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,” he added.
TVNZ Director of Content Cate Slater said it was an exciting development. “We are delighted to be the home of New Zealand cricket for the coming years. Te Reo Tataki TVNZ has always been focused on bringing the moments that matter to New Zealanders.”
We’re looking forward to helping all Kiwis get behind our national cricket teams with live coverage across our channels and TVNZ+.”