The Rugby World Cup is less than a year away, and Sky TV are yet to secure the broadcast rights.
Back in 2011 Sky Sport was the host broadcaster of the Rugby World Cup.
This was not a surprise because the tournament was held in New Zealand and Sky TV is New Zealand’s primary sports broadcaster through its ever growing Sky Sports channel lineup. Free to air television stations got their share of the rights also, including live coverage of 16 games and delayed for the rest while Sky Sport broadcasted each game of the 2011 RWC live.
But New Zealand’s big pay TV provider has long been the home for most big sports on New Zealand television.
Much has been made about Sky’s future as the big dog of the sports broadcasting scene in New Zealand after in the last year both the English Premier League and the PGA Tour rights to internet TV company Coliseum Sports.
Much has been speculated about the possibility of Sky offering season passes for certain sports.
For example, if a subscriber only wanted to watch the All Blacks for a season, this would be available for a one off season pass fee.
When asked directly by Tony Veitch on Radio Sport this weekend, admitted they were still in negotiation over the rights to next years Rugby World Cup.
With the tournament being held in England, it would be safe to assume that the host broadcaster would be the likes of Sky Sports UK so the chances of Sky Sport here in New Zealand securing the rights to all the games while closing out all coverage rights to free to air channels like TVNZ and TV3 are rather slim one would think.
Back in 2007 Sky TV completely missed out on all the RWC coverage and free to air channel TV3 secured all the rights.
Could this be a similar theme in 2015? Surely not.
With the amount of revenue Sky Television make per year from its large subscriber base securing the rights to RWC 2015 shouldn’t be an issue in terms of competition with other TV bidders in New Zealand.