The Dominion Post

World Cup coverage: Sky 48, all others 0

- TOM PULLAR-STRECKER

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.

 ??  ?? Prime spot: Sky hasn’t loosened its grip on the Rugby World Cup which in 2011 was the most-watched event in New Zealand history.
Prime spot: Sky hasn’t loosened its grip on the Rugby World Cup which in 2011 was the most-watched event in New Zealand history.

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