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Cricket viewing numbers go up in New Zealand

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Auckland, May 17 (IANS) More people watched cricket in New Zealand than ever before in the first season of New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) six-year deal with Spark Sport and TVNZ, the NZC said on Monday.

NZC said that the combination of free-to-air and digital subscription as a ground-breaking arrangement which is taking cricket to not only more Kiwis, but demographics of New Zealanders previously lost to the game.

NZC said that the six matches screened live on TVNZ 1 reached 1.86m viewers. Nearly 240,000 Spark Sport viewers watched the New Zealand men’s and women’s teams while Test match viewing numbers were “very encouraging”. There was also an increase in engagement, in terms of both highlights packages consumed, and average time spent viewing.

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There was a significant increase in viewership of both the men’s and women’s Super Smash.

“The opening T20 against the West Indies reached more than 970,000i while the Pakistan opener reached just over one million and the most popular Australian T20 reached over 1.24 million viewers. 840,300 viewers watched the last White Ferns fixture, vs Australia,” said the NZC.

“The most popular Test match was the second in the Pakistan series which the Blackcaps won by an innings and 176 runs, and the most popular T20 series was the Australian series that was closely fought until the series decider – won by New Zealand. Spark Sport customers watched over 3.4 million hours of cricket as the Blackcaps rose to the number one Test team in the world,” it further said.

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Fans watched cricket on the go with around 40 percent of Spark Sport customers watching on a mobile device with the ability to cast and stream to a big screen at home, or on their smartphone at the beach or relaxing in the back seat on a long summer road trip. Data also showed Spark Sport customers watching across three different devices with a range of choice from 12 compatible devices.

In terms of connectivity, Smart TVs were the most popular way to watch the cricket, with Chromecast (a cost-effective smart device that casts online content on to standard TVs) following closely behind.

–IANS

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