Martin Devlin: It's become too confusing keeping up with NZ cricket TV rights

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 15 Apr 2021, 1:08PM

Martin Devlin: It's become too confusing keeping up with NZ cricket TV rights

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 15 Apr 2021, 1:08PM

So who has the New Zealand television rights to the ICC World  Cricket Test Championship? The answer, right now, is no-one knows.

I'm guessing most cricket fans are assuming it'll be live on Sky Sport - but that's not necessarily the case. Sky, like Spark, are from what we're told still in negotiations to secure the event.

At this point in time it's all up for grabs with every chance it could end up costing fans even more to watch their favourite  team play this particular one-off match. Just over eight weeks away, this has become  a major head-to-head contest between our two major TV sports broadcasting networks.

If you watch Spark Sport you'd think it's already theirs given the way they are actively promoting the fact "we're bringing you all the action from the home of cricket". The way the promo is written, a clever yet slightly disingenous script, sounds like Spark have exclusive coverage of everything from England. But again, not so.

Spark have the two build-up tests vs England plus an overall ICC highlights package that we assume would include each day's play from the world test championship. However this is NOT, as yet, live coverage of that test. The waters are further muddied by Sky owning the rights to all Black Caps coverage outside of New Zealand, including all ICC events,  except these next two upcoming tests vs England. Confused? It'd be easier to pick  Warnie's arm ball than figure all this out.

Quite probably the most important cricket match  our men's team will play since the ICC 1-Day WC final and we, as fans, still have no idea who has the tv rights and whether or not whoever wins those rights plans to charge us all a special 1-off fee to watch. And don't bother asking NZC for an answer. They're about as comfortable with these questions as any tailender facing a new ball bouncer. It's like the 5-day forecast for the test itself. With just 8 weeks to go, all we currently know, is that  right now we don't know.