TVNZ is to become the exclusive domestic broadcaster for all BLACKCAPS, WHITE FERNS, and Super Smash matches for three years, from the start of the 2023-24 home summer until the end of the 2025-26 season.
New Zealand’s largest free-to-air broadcaster will expand its partnership with NZC as part of Spark’s decision to exit the sports streaming market - announced by the telco this morning.
It means 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+.
BLACKCAPS, WHITE FERNS and Super Smash 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 said the TVNZ arrangement was a critical part of the original partnership agreement with Spark Sport.
He added that the value of NZC’s media rights package remained undiminished.
“We’ve enjoyed a very strong relationship with Spark Sport and are sad to see them leaving the market,” said Mr White.
“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.”
However, he said it had always been important for NZC that, should the environment change, cricket fans would continued to be prioritised.
The position agreed with TVNZ achieved all that, and more.
“Notwithstanding the disappointment for Spark Sport, this is a very good outcome for the game of cricket in New Zealand,” he said.
“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.”
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,” she said.
“Te Reo Tātaki 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+.”