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Spark to stream Super Bowl through short-term NFL deal

New Zealand telecoms operator Spark has reached an agreement to stream coverage of the NFL until the end of the 2019-20 season.

The deal includes non-exclusive coverage of the season-ending Super Bowl on February 3 and a selection of matches each week.

The deal includes two live Sunday-afternoon games, which will air on Monday mornings in New Zealand; one Sunday-afternoon game delayed; 10 live playoff games; the Pro Bowl; the Super Bowl and a range of preview, review and highlight clips.

Spark’s NFL coverage will continue on Monday with live streams of the New England Patriots vs Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons vs San Francisco 49ers.

In August, sports broadcaster ESPN struck an expanded rights deal in Australia and New Zealand for coverage of the NFL. The deal grants ESPN rights to 110 live games during the 2019 NFL season, including 90 regular-season fixtures, all post-season games, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

Spark told the New Zealand Herald that that both Spark Sport and Sky – via its ESPN deal – will show the Super Bowl, the playoffs and the Pro Bowl, but that the two will each show a different section of regular-season games.

ESPN Australia and New Zealand announced at the time that it would not provide coverage of the NFL RedZone service, which provides league-wide coverage on Sunday afternoons, this season. ESPN instead launched an NFL edition of its SportsCenter show to recap Sunday-afternoon games.

Jeff Latch, head of Spark Sport, said: “Getting the NFL was an important acquisition for us as more New Zealanders take up the sport here and as many more Americans move down under. Giving fans the option to view across a wide range of compatible devices will only grow the sport and show up as true value for our customers.”

Spark’s agreement comes after the telco recently struck a five-year digital content rights deal with the International Cricket Council. The contract runs from 2019 to 2023 and includes rights to make available near-live, in-match content, as well as post-match highlights clips on-demand for all global ICC events.