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UPDATE 1-Amazon's Prime Video makes live sports foray in India with cricket rights

(Updates to add co’s comment, details)

NEW DELHI, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video said on Tuesday it had acquired the rights for broadcasting New Zealand Cricket matches in India, marking the streaming service’s first foray into live sports in its fastest growing market.

As part of the deal between Amazon and the New Zealand Cricket Board, Prime Video will exclusively stream all international cricket matches played in New Zealand for both men’s and women’s cricket, across all formats of the game beginning late 2021 and through to the 2025-2026 season, the company said in a statement.

“We are excited to add India’s most loved game — cricket — to our content selection for our Prime Video customers, and we are thrilled to work with New Zealand Cricket on this endeavour ... and the cricketing rivalry between the two countries has been fantastic,” said Gaurav Gandhi, India head of Amazon Prime Video.

The New Zealand cricket board earlier announced a six-year domestic streaming deal with Spark Sport, which starts with matches against West Indies at home, starting later this month.

Amazon has previously shown interest in the rights to India’s Premier League cricket, while Facebook had narrowly lost out to Walt Disney Co-owned Star’s combined bid for TV and digital rights for the popular 20-over tournament.

Globally, Amazon has bet big on sports as a way to bolster its movie and originals catalogue. It live streams various sports, including Thursday Night Football, the Premier League, ATP Tour Events, and the U.S. Open tennis.

In India, Amazon competes with global rivals Disney and Netflix Inc.

Its loyalty programme Prime, which gives customers faster shipping and video and music streaming, costs 999 rupees ($13.51) for an annual subscription.

($1 = 73.9200 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Additional reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Rashmi Aich

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