Today New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and Spark Sport officially launch their new partnership, transforming the way Kiwis watch cricket with archived and new content now available.
Spark Sport will be the new home of all NZC cricket fixtures played on home soil, old and new, as the sports streaming provider brings to life the official broadcast rights deal announced in October 2019.
With live sports events still currently on pause across the world, Spark Sport has also extended its “no charge” period for new and existing customers until the end of May, meaning New Zealanders can experience all the cricket action and more, at no cost.
NZC CEO, David White said he wants to ensure a sustainable future for one of New Zealand’s most beloved sports.
“As a sports body, our ultimate goal is to grow the game we love and, today, a big part of that has come to fruition,” he said.
“As consumer viewing habits move with technology and increasingly turn to streaming, we want to make sure cricket fans can enjoy their favourite sport digitally and it’s great to have Spark Sport going live with cricket content today.
Mr White acknowledged the challenges presented by the current COVID19 pandemic but said NZC would work closely with Spark Sport to provide innovative and compelling solutions.
“We’re really looking forward to cricket being launched on Spark Sport and I encourage cricket fans to jump in and check it out for themselves. In today’s rapidly changing environment where you have to move and adapt quickly to new and unexpected situations, I’m happy to have the help and backing of New Zealand’s largest digital services provider.”
Jeff Latch, Head of Spark Sport said, “Today marks a milestone in the New Zealand sports media landscape with one of New Zealand’s most popular sports going live on a digital platform.
“Cricket fans now have a well-tested digital platform on which they’ll be able to access past games, historic moments and milestones, player engagement content, highlight reels and more, when and where they want to.
“We’re committed to sitting alongside NZC and bringing them into a digital era so New Zealanders can continue to watch fantastic domestic and international summer cricket.
Mr Latch said Spark Sport would also bring to life some of New Zealand cricket fans’ favourite memories from the past.
“As New Zealanders continue to stay safe in their bubbles, they can now relive some of New Zealand Cricket’s best home performances from the past 15 years, across all formats of the game on Spark Sport.
“On top of this our team have worked with NZC to produce some never-before-seen interviews with current BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS from which viewers should get a good feel of what’s to come. This is the first time New Zealanders will have access to so much on-demand cricket content, and once we bolster that content more, we believe it will be the most extensive.”
New content includes a combination of highlights packages and full replays and the below ancillary content.
New interviews (shot pre-COVID)
Spark Sport’s Scotty Stevenson quizzes eight of the current BLACKCAPS squad in a Mastermind-style walk down memory lane – their speciality subject? Themselves! Some of the players displayed an encyclopaedic knowledge of their years at the crease; while others may not have remembered the details from in the middle but vividly recall the after-match.
Added interviews and commentary from the players’ bubbles
Many of the archive matches will be complemented by interviews with New Zealand greats who played winning roles in the middle. Hear from the likes of Tim Southee, Sophie Devine, Ross Taylor and many more as they recall the big moments of Kiwi cricketing history.
BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS name their dream teams
We get the BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS to pick their All Star XI. The likes of Tom Latham, Neil Wagner and Suzie Bates name their dream team of cricketers they’ve played with and against. It could be a teammate or a rival; a player they’ve formed great memories with in the middle or in the sheds.