Spark Sport has announced that it will open up its platform for no charge for existing and new customers until May, giving access to 6 sports channels and hundreds of hours of on demand sport content as COVID-19 continues to impact live sporting events globally.
Over the last week many major sports bodies have been forced to cancel or postpone sporting events, including three key Spark Sport partners – the NBA, Formula 1 and Premier League. As a result, this has impacted the live content available on Spark Sport.
Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch, says this is a very challenging time for sports bodies, broadcasters and fans alike, and during the temporary hiatus of many live sport events Spark Sport wants to look after its customers and give New Zealanders access to the sport they enjoy.
“We love bringing New Zealand some of the best live sport from around the globe, but COVID-19 has impacted the range of live events we have on the platform – so offering our channels and on-demand content up free of charge during this time feels like the right thing to do.
“In practice this means we will stop charging existing customers for their subscription from their next billing cycle. Currently our view is that we will start charging again in May, but we will review this closer to the time.
“We also recognise a lot of New Zealanders are either in self-isolation or limiting social interaction at the moment and having access to sports content is a great way for people to be entertained and keep their spirits up. So, we are also opening up the platform free of charge until May for new customers and customers with a suspended subscription that want to reactivate it. Customers can expect to see a few changes on our website in the coming days as we tweak the sign up journey to reflect these changes.
“It goes without saying that this isn’t sustainable in the long-term, so once our key sports partners are able to resume coverage, we will recommence our paid subscription model again, but this will not happen until May at the earliest.”
Adding more on-demand content
Latch continued: “While we recognise nothing quite compares to a live sports match, we are doing everything we can to work with our sports partners to offer up the next best thing. For example, we have already been given the opportunity to access content from the Premier League archive that includes historic matches, highlight shows and the legends documentary series featuring greats like Thierry Henry and Gianfranco Zola.
“If customers want to request a specific match they would like to re-watch they can get in touch with us on our Facebook page and we will endeavour to source the most popular matches requested. The requested matches will be added to the already extensive ‘Premier League Fan Requests’ section on Spark Sport.
“In addition to the extra Premier League content we are in talks with our other sports partners to ensure our customers have a steady pipeline of quality content available to watch. Currently Spark Sport has a raft of content from the NBA, Heineken Champions Cup, Premier League, the WTA, World Rally Championships, FIH Hockey, Formula 1, ONE Championship and more, so people will have plenty to watch.”