Amazon Prime Video is ready to foray into the live sports streaming segment in India as it acquires territory rights for New Zealand cricket through 2025-2026- a move that can impact the duopoly of Sony and Star networks in the space. The exclusive rights to New Zealand Cricket matches had been with Star and Disney since 2017. With this, Amazon Prime Video becomes the first Indian streaming service to secure exclusive live cricket rights from a major cricketing board.
The multi-year deal between Amazon and the New Zealand cricket board will give Prime Video the right to stream international cricket matches to be played in New Zealand-men's and women's crickets across ODI, T20 and test formats starting late 2021.
Not only this, the deal also includes Team India's New Zealand tour in early 2022 and a second tour, dates for which shall be announced later. According to Amazon Prime Video's Director and Country General Manager, Gaurav Gandhi, "We are thrilled to work with New Zealand Cricket on this endeavour as they have a strong, passionate and much-loved cricket team, and the cricketing rivalry between the two countries has been fantastic. We are happy to make this collaboration with New Zealand Cricket our first live sport offering in India, and are confident that our Prime members will be delighted with this initiative."
The season will include the 2020-2021 West Indies' tour to New Zealand, which will start later this month and will be followed by the Pakistan tour. Amazon will syndicate or sub license the rights for the 2020-2021 season.
David White, CEO of New Zealand Cricket Board said that one of the NZC's main focuses is to increase their global reach and to build closer relationships globally. White added India is an important market for NZC since no other country in the world follows cricket like India does.
The Indian territory New Zealand cricket rights package is the latest addition in the streaming platform's live sports offerings globally. Prime Video's line-up of live sports includes Thursday Night Football, Premier League, ATP Tour Events, the US Open (tennis), the Seattle Sounders FC, UEFA Champions League, WTA, and Autumn Nations Cup (rugby).