Dratsab: I agree with what others have already said, this isn't a disastrous thing for Sky. Sure, it's a bit of a kick in the pants but it is only a very short term event and it has no bearing on existing contracts or rights.
I think the Spark objection to VodaSky was a good thing as it prevented a behemoth with the ability to shut out others. If it turns out Spark/TVNZ do win the rights that'll be just be proof blocking the merger was the correct thing to do as it's kept competition alive.
Innovation and fresh thinking is what's needed at Sky. So with Fellet announcing he'll step aside sometime in the next 12 months, maybe this'll be their watershed moment.
Disagree that the Spark objection was a good thing. It was a fundamentally flawed analysis. If the merger had occurred it wouldnt have changed the amount that Sky bid for the RWC. Sky has shown that it is unwilling to bid at economically unviable levels for other sports rights and events (EPL, PGA, CommGames, tennis, cricket rights, etc). Sky has a significant war chest such that it could have bid at uneconomic levels for this event even though the merger was scuppered.
The irony is that the loudest voice decrying the lack of competition in the sports rights market is the one that has always coveted it the most and ensuring that its competitors are weakened is the always the best way to try to succeed.