“This is a great result for New Zealand Rugby,” said the sport’s CEO Steve Tew.
“We not only have a vastly experienced broadcast partner, but we have a partner prepared to work and invest with us in initiatives that will help grow the game over a prolonged period of time.”
“For rugby in New Zealand, this is a hugely significant agreement that secures the long-term financial health of our game.
“We are delighted to have secured this superb rugby content for our customers to the end of 2025,” added Sky New Zealand CEO Martin Stewart.
“Our commitment is to deliver rugby to all New Zealanders in ways that work for them, including streaming, broadcast over our satellite and free-to-air on Prime.”
“This partnership with New Zealand Rugby cements our shared commitment to nurture and grow the game across all aspects, from grassroots to high performance, and for women, men, boys’ and girls’ rugby.
“A special part of this deal is the 5 per cent equity stake that New Zealand Rugby is taking in Sky. We have long known that there is mutual benefit when each of us succeeds, and we’re pleased that the sport is becoming an investor in Sky.”
The timing of the deal could be seen as significant given that World Rugby’s Rugby World Cup is in full swing in Japan. World Rugby recently pulled back from the idea of a World Rugby competition drawing closer links between the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Broadcast revenue would be central to that and indeed to the continued operation of the two major competitions in each. There was a feeling that Six Nations Rugby had been less than enthusiastic about the proposed global alternative.
The timing also has a business element though with Sky New Zealand’s Annual General meeting taking place this Thursday where formal approval for the deal will be sought.
New Zealand take on Ireland in the Quarter Final of the Rugby World Cup this weekend, without doubt the most keenly anticipated clash of the tournament. The sides have only met once in World Cup history when New Zealand won in the opening Group stage clash of the 1995 tournament in South Africa.
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