Amazon Prime Video India is entering the streaming of live cricket matches, starting with a test series between New Zealand and Bangladesh on January 1, 2022.
Amazon struck a multi-year deal with the New Zealand cricket board in November 2020 for international men’s and women’s cricket matches played in New Zealand – across One Day Internationals (ODI), T20 and tests – which will be available exclusively on Prime Video in India.
Upcoming matches include the series between the Indian and New Zealand women’s cricket teams in February 2022, as well as the Indian and New Zealand men’s cricket teams, currently scheduled for November 2022.
Other matches covered by the deal include those presently scheduled to be played between the men’s teams as a part of Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand in January 2022, South Africa’s tour in February 2022, Australia’s tour in March 2022 and the Netherlands’ tour in March/April 2022.
The test series between New Zealand and Bangladesh will be the first to stream on Prime Video, with the first match scheduled to be played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga from January 1-5, and will conclude with the second test match at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, scheduled for January 9-13. Prime members can tune in live at 3:30am IST for each day’s play.
“Cricket is undoubtedly the most loved sport in India and our collaboration with New Zealand Cricket underlines our commitment to give our customers what they want. The upcoming series will be Prime Video’s first foray into live cricket in India,” said Amazon Prime Video India, country head, Gaurav Gandhi.
Live cricket has been a major factor in the success of Amazon competitor Disney+ Hotstar in India, a country famous for its twin obsessions of cricket and film. Disney subsidiary Star India currently holds the rights to Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket in a deal that expires in 2022. Indian press has speculated that Amazon could join forces with Sony Pictures Networks India to launch a joint bid for the IPL rights next year.