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CSA steps in to offer ‘unprecedented’ live streaming of New Zealand tour

New Zealand cricket fans will be able to watch the remainder of the national team’s tour of South Africa after the Cricket South Africa governing body stepped in to provide free live streaming of games.

The tour has been marred by a lack of television coverage in New Zealand, with pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand having been unable to agree terms on a rights deal.

Sky failed to secure rights to the opening two Twenty20 games between South Africa and New Zealand, and the start of the one-day international series on August 19 marked the first time in 12 years that a Test match or ODI featuring New Zealand against another major nation had not been televised by Sky.

However, in what it claimed was an “unprecedented move”, CSA on Saturday said it would provide free live streaming of the series to fans living in New Zealand via its official website. The move provided coverage for Sunday’s game and will also cover the final ODI on Wednesday.

CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: “There will be no commercial gain for us streaming live but at the same time it presents us with an exciting opportunity to enter the world of live streaming of our events for the very first time.

“I must take this opportunity to express disappointment at not having concluded a deal earlier with Sky NZ and to later media reports which failed to accurately report the state of affairs. I must also take this opportunity to thank our host broadcaster, SuperSport, and the other partners including IMG who worked around the clock to make this possible for fans in New Zealand.”

Sky last week hit out at CSA after the two parties failed to agree a deal for the ODI series. Richard Last, director of sport for Sky, told the Stuff.co.nz website the broadcaster tabled an increased last-minute offer to CSA’s agency partner IMG, but it was not enough to secure live coverage of the first ODI in Centurion.

Last said Sky made an initial bid before the first Twenty20 international to CSA and its broadcast partner, pay-television operator SuperSport. He added that Sky had done all in its power to secure rights and said he was confident it would continue to broadcast New Zealand’s future overseas tours.