The Dominion Post
World Cup coverage: Sky 48, all others 0
SKY TELEVISION has secured the New Zealand rights to broadcast the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in England on September 18.
Sky said it would broadcast all 48 matches live and would also provide a comprehensive ‘‘digital and mobile offering’’.
All Blacks games will be aired on Prime together with daily highlights from other matches, but spokeswoman Kirsty Way could not say whether the free-to-air broadcasts would be live or delayed.
Rival internet television company Coliseum, which has a partnership with Spark’s Lightbox service, has been nibbling at the toes of Sky’s dominance in sports broadcasting.
But Sky’s willingness to outbid contenders for the premier rugby event had not been in doubt.
Sky said on Monday that it would offer ‘‘season tickets’’ to Super Rugby and NRL games and Formula 1 races online for $299 each through a new service called ‘‘Fan Pass’’ that it is marketing to non-Sky subscribers as an alternative to Sky Sports.
Way could not confirm whether it would create a similar online offering for the Rugby World Cup games.
She expected some games would be filmed in the new ultra high-definition 4K standard which offers four times the resolution of normal full HD broadcasts, but said Sky would not be broadcasting games in the 4K format in New Zealand.
The International Rugby Board, which runs the cup, is reportedly hoping to gross £220m (NZ$453m) from the global broadcast rights, sponsorship and merchandising.
The 2011 Rugby World Cup final was the most-watched event in New Zealand television history, Sky said.