14 May

The subscription channel Spark Sport announced earlier this week that it will provide cricket fans with highlights of the full 2019 / 2020 India tour of New Zealand on-demand with Hindi commentary.

In adapting its operations around the COVID-19 pandemic, Spark Sport worked with Indian broadcaster, Star India and New Zealand Cricket to bring this to life for NZ Hindi-speaking cricket fans.

Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch says “it’s important that the streaming service caters to a wide range of sports viewers and having this content gives us the opportunity to test the demand for cricket coverage with Hindi commentary as well as English commentary in New Zealand.

“In what we believe is a first for New Zealand cricket coverage, we now have International NZ vs India matches with dedicated Hindi commentary on the platform. We hope the New Zealand Indian cricket community will enjoy re-watching the games with commentary provided by cricketing greats such as VV Laxman and Sunil Gavaskar.

“When adding content to Spark Sport we always make a conscious effort to think about the diverse audiences who watch and engage with our content and in this instance, we think a large number of cricket fans will love this.

“Although the Hindi commentary is only available on one series for now, we hope to be able to source more cricket coverage with Hindi commentary should this first series prove popular. We know that New Zealand’s sports community is diverse, and the demographic of the average Kiwi sports fan is varied and has changed hugely in the last 10 years.”

BLACKCAP and Hindi speaking cricket player Ish Sodhi says, “it’s no secret that the Indian community love cricket so it’s great to see Spark Sport catering to the New Zealand Indian community who follow the sport religiously.

“There’s a huge following of Indian cricket fans here in New Zealand, and for many, English is their second language. Having the option to watch a series or a few games with Hindi commentary on a New Zealand streaming service will probably be a welcome surprise.

“It’s great to see Spark Sport trying to support a more diverse sports audience that now, more than ever before, includes a range of new New Zealanders who love sport.”

John Stephenson


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