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New Zealand Cricket boosting viewership on streaming platforms

Cricket has become more well-liked amongst Kiwis as the first season of New Zealand’s six-year-deal with Spark Sport and TVNZ has boomed and reached new heights making a lot of young people watch the gentleman’s game. People have started watching women’s cricket more than ever before ‘on the go’ as the content is available via a range of mobile devices.

One year into the six-year deal and the viewership is reaching new heights as the consumption of content by the audience has increased despite all the hindrances caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It was revealed in a press release by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) that due to the combination of a free-to-air and digital subscription, a “ground-breaking arrangement which is taking cricket to not only more Kiwis but demographics of New Zealanders previously lost to the game”.

There were 1.86 million viewers attracted when TVNZ screened six matches live. Moreover, almost 240,000 Spark Sport viewers watched cricket in the summer.  The Australian series had the most viewership as an audience of 1.24 million saw the matches. The same goes with the final ODI between New Zealand women and Australian women that had a viewership of 840,000 people. 

Test matches had also been gaining viewers as the most-watched test match was the second test between New Zealand and Pakistan, which NZ won by 176 runs and wrapped up the series with a 2-0 win. The release also mentioned that test matches and T20’s are getting the same amount of popularity in the country.

A spike in the number of viewers was also seen during the time of men’s and women’s Super-Smash- New Zealand’s domestic T20 franchise. David White, CEO of NZC, admitted that results have exceeded expectations and we’ll continue reaching new heights. 

“We’re hugely encouraged. The production was professional; the look and feel was fresh and appealing – it was everything we were hoping for. On top of the increase in viewership, our latest census is also indicating a significant increase in the number of New Zealanders playing cricket – including a 12% increase in the number of female participants, and a nine percent increase in the number of males.”

Jeff Latch, Head of Spark Sport also admitted that early numbers are encouraging since sports streaming is still a new mode for Kiwis to watch games. The upcoming World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand would also help get in more viewers. The final is set to take place at Ageas Bowl in the second half of June. New Zealand Cricket has much more to look forward in streaming business as they have already signed a big deal with Amazon to broadcast games in India from next year.

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