The OTT streaming service of Amazon Inc., Amazon Prime has bagged a multi-year deal for all international cricket matches to be played in New Zealand including the exclusive right of India’s tour of New Zealand in early 2022, a Times of India report states.
This is the first time the American multinational technology company has got into live sports in India and the deal comes to fruition after earlier broadcasters Star India dropped their broadcast deal - USD 35m for three years - with New Zealand Cricket early this year due to financial constraints because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Under the multi-year deal, Prime Video will become the sole 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 rights for the 2020-2021 season starting later this month is intended to be syndicated by Amazon," a Prime representative told the national daily.
Amazon’s foray into live sports in India is an interesting move that will be closely followed by other digital rights holders namely Disney + Hotstar and Facebook. Disney + Hotstar currently is the digital rights holders for IPL and other bilateral series in India while Facebook is ICC’s partners. This deal also comes close to the heels of BCCI planning to float tenders for IPL and bilateral rights in 2021-22. Amazon had submitted a bid for IPL rights in 2016, but the budding process was canceled.
“By bidding for NZC rights in India, they’re shelling out in pennies and not pounds but it allows them to watch this space from very close quarters. Cricket broadcast is a small industry and all eyes will be on them from here on," they reported further qouted a source in the know.