I have never seen that put forward. Its common knowledge that broadcasters bid for rights, and common knowledge that Sky isn't always the top bidder or will pay the asking price.
Bad editing sorry, I meant to quote this directly:
shk292: There is, in my opinion, a false assumption from the supporters of Sky in this debate - and that is that sports rights cost what they cost, and this has to be paid.
I actually think that the costs of sport, especially rugby in NZ, has been fuelled by Sky bidding to win it exclusively, because without it they would die. They know (incorrectly or otherwise) that they have a captive market, including those who pay for Basic and subsidise Sport. So, they can afford to pay huge sums for sports rights and pass these on to the customers.
What if they didn't do this? What if Sky currently pay $100M for NZ Rugby (a number I just made up), then they go out of business next month and the next highest bid for rugby rights is $40M from TVNZ or Amazon? Do we think NZ rugby would say "stuff you", close up shop and there would be no more rugby in NZ? Or perhaps could another model be found which incoporates less money, more subscribers and more diverse providers?
I think if you step away from the current assumptions - ie huge rights costs and geographic exclusive broadcast rights - there may be different answers. Not all of which will involve Sky.