Spark and TVNZ have won the broadcast rights for major international rugby tournaments, including the Rugby World Cup 2019.
New Zealanders will be able to stream RWC2019 matches and related content live or on-demand on a range of devices, including TV, mobile, tablets and laptops. The services will offer both free and paid content, and will be available to all New Zealanders, not just Spark customers.
Spark entered an agreement with TVNZ, which will see the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, World Rugby Under 20 Championship 2018 and selected matches from the Rugby World Cup 2019 screen free to air.
Free-to-air coverage of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 will be confirmed closer to the tournament date.
Managing director Simon Moutter said, rather than an “all-or-nothing” approach to RWC coverage, Spark intended offering pricing options to suit people’s differing preferences and budget.
“While we won’t be releasing pricing details until next year, I can say there will be a menu of well-priced options, ranging from individual match passes through to a full tournament package.
“We believe this makes Rugby World Cup viewing more accessible to many more New Zealand than has been the case for recent tournaments.”
TVNZ, which has just finished broadcast coverage of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, will screen seven RWC2019 matches live, including the tournament’s opening match and final – the same number offered free-to-air in 2015.
Ads won’t run in live game time – details of these matches will be released in the coming months.
“Our agreement will broaden the availability of New Zealand’s biggest sport and give viewers even more choice,” said TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick. “Together, we’re committed to delivering a fantastic viewing experience for all New Zealanders.”