Entertainment

Sony Pictures Networks India set to become the home to New Zealand Cricket for seven years

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has acquired the television and digital rights to broadcast and stream all New Zealand-based BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS matches into India and associated territories for the next seven years.

Hyderabad: Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has acquired the television and digital rights to broadcast and stream all New Zealand-based BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS matches into India and associated territories for the next seven years.

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The landmark deal, from 1 May 2024 to 30 April 2031, will include India’s tours of New Zealand in the 2026-27 and 2030-31 summers, as well as all other bilateral Tests, ODIs, and T20Is played in New Zealand during the designated period.

All matches will be telecast and streamed live across SPNI’s sports channels and will be livestreamed on Sony LIV, respectively, adding to an SPNI portfolio which already includes agreements with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

NP Singh, Managing Director and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks India, stated, “We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with New Zealand Cricket.

“New Zealand is renowned for its exceptional sportsmanship and strength; it’s one of the most respected cricket teams globally.

“It is our privilege to deepen and nurture the bond between this esteemed team and its passionate fan base in India.”

Diana Puketapu-Lyndon, Chair of New Zealand Cricket, said it was an exciting time for both organisations.

“With world-class sporting tournaments in their portfolio, Sony Pictures Networks India is one of the premiere sports content providers in India and we look forward to our association”, she said.

The BLACKCAPS have enjoyed major success in the recent years, with the inaugural World Test Championship title win in 2021 highlighting their accolades. The men’s team also finished runners-up in the previous T20 World Cup, winning millions of hearts with their spirited display.

Cricket fans in the Indian subcontinent can look forward to watching the BLACKCAPS in action against cricket heavyweights India, Australia, England and Pakistan among others until the end of the 2031 season.

Rajesh Kaul, SPNI’s Chief Revenue Officer – Distribution & International Business and Head – Sports Business, welcomed NZC to its stable of cricket content.

“Our constant endeavour has been to add marquee properties to our sports portfolio. making us a global muti-sporting arena for audiences in India. Our partnership with NZC is an important addition to our sports portfolio as the BLACKCAPS have won the hearts of cricket fans through their fierce competitive spirit and impeccable sporting behaviour”, said Mr Kaul.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing some terrific cricket through our seven year partnership which includes three crucial bilateral series against England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 2024-25 as well two bilateral series featuring the Indian men’s team in 2026-27 and 2030-31 respectively.”

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Scott Weenink was delighted with the agreement, noting the partnership was a natural fit, with both organisations sharing similar values.

“Sony Pictures Networks India is an aspirational, innovative and forward-focussed business that prides itself on being efficient and sustainable in a rapidly changing world”, said Mr Weenink.

“It puts its consumers first and seeks to be the very best it can be – values NZC relates to very strongly.”

NZC GM Commercial Chris Smith said India was a key market for NZC and that the partnership with SPNI was the result of closely aligned interests.

“It’s fair to say this is a significant commercial agreement,” said Mr Smith.

“Sony has a large presence in the Indian market on both linear and digital platforms and we’re looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership.

“It’s been a great experience working with the Sony team while finalising these arrangements.”

SPNI’s digital rights in India will be co-exclusive with Amazon Prime for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons.

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