Spark Sport says it has appointed UK company Whisper as its production partner for its domestic cricket contract, which covers the next six seasons.

It's the second time Spark Sport has drafted in an offshore producer after multinational outside broadcast giant NEP was appointed for its domestic hockey coverage.

Sky TV's outside broadcast unit was for a long time the only substantial OB operation in New Zealand, and the cost of replicating it was regarded as a barrier to new competition.

However, NEP setting up shop in NZ, lower-cost digital technologies and a cost-pressure saw Sky put its OB unit up for sale last year.


Whisper MD Mark Cole says, "We have recently appointed former England Cricket captain Michael Vaughan as an advisory board member so he will also have a supporting role on this project.

"We also intend to work extensively with local production talent, as we have in the West Indies and elsewhere, and to draw upon and benefit from their vast experience and local knowledge.

Whisper brass (from left) David Coulthard, Sunil Patel and Jake Humphrey. Photo / Supplied
Whisper brass (from left) David Coulthard, Sunil Patel and Jake Humphrey. Photo / Supplied

"We're looking forward to working with the White Ferns and Black Caps players and showcasing the exciting talent on display with a fresh, new take on sports entertainment."

Whisper was founded in 2010 by ex-Formula One driver David Coulthard, Jake Humphrey - "the face of football for BT Sport" and Bafta award-winning producer Sunil Patel.

The company currently produces the BBC's highlights coverage of English cricket, all international Cricket fixtures played in the West Indies, extensive Formula One highlights plus one live race for Channel 4, NFL for the BBC, Women's Super League and Women's Rugby Six Nations.