SKY Television advises that we were informed overnight that we are not the preferred bidder for the New Zealand broadcast rights for Rugby World Cup 2019.
We have been informed that negotiations are underway with the preferred party, and our bid remains in play should those negotiations fail.
We are not at liberty to provide further detail of the bid process at this stage, but make three observations:
• Sport broadcasting is a competitive business, and while we are disappointed not to be the preferred bidder, it’s an economic reality that we can’t have every match of every sport that New Zealanders like to watch.
• While the Rugby World Cup is great content and we put forward a strong bid for it, it is an incredibly expensive event that plays once every four years for six weeks. SKY Sport’s business is built on offering sports fans their favourite matches on a week in, week out basis, over multiple years. Our customers will continue to enjoy the Super Rugby, Mitre 10 Cup, and All Blacks tests (including the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup). For 52 weeks of the year they will also watch the Warriors and the NRL, the Cricket, Netball, Supercars, Golf, Cycling, Football, Basketball, Moto GP and Boxing, to name a few.
• Rugby World Cup rights are sold by IMG Media on behalf of Rugby World Cup Ltd, and are unrelated to the SANZAAR rights. SKY has the SANZAAR rights through to 2020, including All Blacks tests, Super Rugby and the Mitre 10 Cup.