In the latest of the series of live sports action rights it has been acquiring round the world, Amazon Prime Video has forayed into live sporting action in India with the acquisitino of all India territory rights for New Zealand Cricket starting late 2021 through 2025/26. With this announcement, Amazon Prime Video becomes the first Indian streaming service to secure exclusive live cricket rights from a major cricketing board.
Under the multi-year deal between Amazon and the New Zealand Cricket Board, Prime Video will become the one-stop streaming destination for all international cricket matches to be played in New Zealand for both men’s and women’s cricket, across ODI, T20 and Tests starting late 2021.
The deal includes Team India’s tour of New Zealand in early 2022, and a second tour, the dates for which will be announced later. The rights for 2020-2021 season starting later this month is intended to be syndicated by Amazon.
The deal covers all international matches to be played in New Zealand till end of 2025-2026 season, including when Team India tours New Zealand in early 2022, and a second tour with dates be announced later
Prime Video will become the one-stop streaming destination in India for all international cricket matches played in New Zealand – including both men’s and women’s cricket, across ODI, T20 and Tests – starting from the 2021-22 season through to the 2025-2026 season.
In addition to upcoming live Cricket, Amazon Prime offers incredible value with unlimited streaming of the latest and exclusive movies, TV shows, stand-up comedy, Amazon Originals, and more – all available for only Rs. 129 a month.
This augurs well for Amazon Prime Video, because the Indian men’s cricket team receives unrivalled support and unites fans across the entire country. With two highly-anticipated tours of the Indian team to New Zealand, over the next 6 years, cricket fans in India can look forward to enticing cricketing action. The New Zealand men’s cricket team, also known as the Black Caps, enjoys world-wide popularity and is ranked No.3 in ODI and No. 2 in Test Cricket by the International Cricket Council.
However, the ability of the series to act as a magnet for new greater subscriptions and more time spent on the service depends upon Amazon Prime Video’s content team to bring out the entire surround aspect of the live cricketing action in a manner that would match up to the original and remarkable Extraaa Innings that MAX conceived, and which Star Sports has gone on to reimagine in equally remarkably fashion, thereby helping the IPL grow year on year over the past three-odd years by an average of 25%. Given the excellent content team at Amazon Prime Video India, and, of course, the resources at their disposal, fans and media buyers and experts would await the content and engagement strategy that is rolled out. All said and done, this augurs extremely well for the streaming platforms and live cricketing action space in India.
Does this herald a stronger general belief that ultimately only two kinds of OTT platforms — the progeny of international streaming giant parents, and those from broadcaster parents in India — will be able to withstand the pressures of the creative content economy and survive and grow in India? ALT Balaji is the exception to that general belief, however, because it has been its SVOD business slowly but surely, and is today reportedly positive on OpEx, which augurs well for its ilk.
The Indian territory New Zealand Cricket rights package is the latest in Prime Video’s growing line-up of live sports around the world including Thursday Night Football, the Premier League, ATP Tour Events, WTA, the US Open (tennis), UEFA Champions League, Autumn Nations Cup (rugby), and the Seattle Sounders FC.
Fans can also subscribe to streaming services such as Eurosport, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, and PGA TOUR LIVE through Prime Video Channels. This in addition to a selection of popular docuseries for sports fans, including The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team, which follows the Australian men’s cricket team during the 2018/2019 season, and Emmy-winning Amazon Original All or Nothing, among many others.
Gaurav Gandhi, Director & Country General Manager, Amazon Prime Video, said, “Over the last few years Amazon Prime Video has become the go-to destination for world class entertainment in India – be it our Amazon Original Series or the biggest blockbuster movies across languages. We are excited to add India’s most loved game—Cricket—to our content selection for our Prime Video customers, and we are thrilled to work with New Zealand Cricket on this endeavor 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,” Gandhi added.
“This partnership with Amazon Prime Video is massive for NZC – we’re delighted and proud to be teaming up with such a famous and successful brand. As we’ve said before, the future of live sport is streaming and in Amazon Prime Video we have a partner right at the center of the industry; innovative, trend-setter and well-known for putting fans and subscribers first,” said David White, Chief Executive – New Zealand Cricket.
“One of NZC’s key goals is to extend our teams’ global reach and to build closer relationships around the world and, in terms of that particular objective, we don’t think we could be in better hands. India has always been important for viewership of NZC; no other country follows cricket like India, so it’s exciting to be announcing this agreement with India’s leading streamer,” White added.
New Zealand Cricket will join these and thousands of TV shows and movies from around the world in the Prime Video catalogue. These include Indian films like Chak De India, Sultan, V, Gulabo Sitabo, Shakuntala Devi, Nishabdham, Ponmagal Vandhal, LAW, CU Soon, V, French Biriyani, Sufiyum Sujatayum, Penguin along with Indian-produced Amazon Original series like Inside Edge Season 1 and Season 2, Bandish Bandits, Breathe: Into The Shadows, Paatal Lok, Four More Shots Please, The Family Man, Comicstaan – Semma Comedy Pa, Made In Heaven. Also, award-winning and critically acclaimed global Amazon Original series like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Boys and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and movies like Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and My Spy. All this is available at no extra cost for Amazon Prime members. The service includes titles in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, and Bengali.
Prime members will be able to watch anywhere and anytime on the Prime Video app for smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, and more. In the Prime Video app, Prime members can download episodes on their mobile devices and tablets and watch anywhere offline at no additional cost.
Prime Video is available in India to Prime members for just ₹999 annually or ₹129 monthly.