In a significant step in its sports ambitions, Amazon Prime Video has picked up the India streaming rights for New Zealand cricket until 2025/26. The company announced the deal, struck for an undisclosed amount, on Tuesday morning. “With this announcement Amazon Prime Video becomes the first Indian streaming service to secure exclusive live cricket rights from a major cricketing board,” Amazon said.

“The deal includes Team India’s tour of New Zealand in early 2022, and a second tour, the dates for which will be announced later,” the company added.

While test cricket has seen declining concurrent viewership, TV analytics firm Zapr said that a New Zealand cricket team tour of India had matches that compared in viewership to the Indian Premier League, which dominates cricket ratings in India, both online and on TV.

As such, Prime Video seems to be dipping its toe in the water rather seriously, in the run up to Disney’s global rights to the IPL expiring after 2022. How well anticipation of the 2022 Indian team’s tour in New Zealand drives subscriptions for Prime Video will be key in how aggressively Amazon pursues live sports programming, and the IPL rights beyond 2022.

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