ESPN+ Inks Six-Year Deal for Exclusive U.S Rights to New Zealand Cricket
ESPN+ has reached a new six-year agreement with New Zealand Cricket for exclusive U.S. rights to all men’s and women’s matches in the International Cricket Council (ICC) matches played in New Zealand, across all three formats. The deal renews an existing six-year agreement, and adds up to 50 matches per season from Super Smash, New Zealand’s domestic T20 league.
“Cricket fans are among the most passionate in the world, and the BLACK CAPS and WHITE FERNS are among the world’s great teams,” said Russell Wolff, executive vice president and general manager, ESPN+. “We’re thrilled to build on our great relationship with New Zealand Cricket and bring even more top-level global cricket to the growing and dedicated audience on ESPN+.”
New Zealand began hosting West Indies last week Friday in the first tour that is part of the new deal. Other tours scheduled for New Zealand during the 2020-21 season include Pakistan, Bangladesh and rival Australia. Subsequent seasons will be highlighted by tours including India, West Indies, Australia, and England. The six-year deal covers more than 100 scheduled ICC matches, including 23 Tests, 33 ODI and 53 T20.
New Zealand Cricket currently ranks second in the world in the ICC’s Men’s Test Team rankings, third in Men’s ODI, and sixth in Men’s T20 International. The New Zealand Women’s Teams rank fifth in ODI, and fourth in T20 International rankings.
“The partnership with ESPN will help us extend our teams’ global reach and build closer relationships around the world – which is one of our key objectives,” says NZC chief executive David White. “The USA has always been an important market for us and we’re looking forward to continuing to bring top-class cricket to ESPN viewers.”
ESPN+ has offered hundreds of hours of cricket since its launch in 2018, including Test, ODI and T20 cricket featuring Australia, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and more. The very first direct-to-consumer sports offering in the U.S. from ESPN and The Walt Disney Company was for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.