Cricket Australia has stepped in to provide full live coverage in New Zealand of its national team’s ongoing tour of South Africa after a television deal was not secured in the country.
Cricket fans in New Zealand will be able to watch the final three Tests of Australia’s tour of South Africa, with the series to be streamed live on the Cricket Network, CA’s digital platform targeting the overseas market.
The first Test at Kingsmead was available to New Zealand residents on a free trial and CA has now said the remaining Tests in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg will be available live and on-demand in New Zealand, on any device, for NZ$24.99 (€15/$18).
“We are continually looking for opportunities to expand the service Cricket Network offers the cricket community around the world, from news and video updates to broadcasting domestic and international cricket matches,” CA’s executive general manager of broadcasting, digital media and commercial, Ben Amarfio, said.
“It is very exciting for us to have this chance to broadcast the Qantas Tour of South Africa in New Zealand, and we look forward to cricket fans taking up the opportunity to watch the final three Tests of this highly-anticipated series.”
The Stuff.co.nz website said the arrangement comes after pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand declined to bid for the rights to the series. Stuff noted that Sky “has history” with rights-holder Cricket South Africa and has rarely broadcast its matches in recent years.
Sky spokeswoman Melodie Robinson said of the South Africa-Australia series: “Over the course of the year a huge amount of cricket gets played around the world. Unfortunately we can't buy every match.”
The second Test commenced in Port Elizabeth earlier today (Friday) following a fiery opening game which saw Australia take a 1-0 series lead.