Spark, TVNZ win broadcast rights for Rugby World Cup 2019 and more

Only seven games will be aired free on TVNZ and may not include all games played by the All

Only seven games will be aired free on TVNZ and may not include all games played by the All Blacks

Only seven matches of next year's Rugby World Cup will be live on free-to-air TV.

Spark and TVNZ have won the broadcast rights for major worldwide rugby tournaments, including the Rugby World Cup 2019.

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.

The successful bid for New Zealand's television rights for the 2019 tournament was confirmed in a joint release from TVNZ and Spark on Monday morning (NZT) and lauded as the first time since 2007 that New Zealanders would be able to see the games without paying.

"Our agreement will broaden the availability of New Zealand's biggest sport and give viewers even more choice".

"Together we're committed to delivering a fantastic viewing experience for all New Zealanders - making the most of Spark's leading digital technology and distribution capabilities and TVNZ's unrivalled audience reach and content expertise".

Speaking on TVNZ 1's Breakfast today, Kevin Kenrick and Spark managing director Simon Moutter detailed the process of broadcasting next year's tournament.

Rugby's Webb Ellis Cup which goes to the World Cup victor.

However, some rural customers may not be able to stream the games. "Given we are not satisfied that we can say that competition is unlikely to be substantially lessened by the proposed merger, we must decline clearance", the Commission wrote.

The Auckland-based company secured the rights to next year's Rugby World Cup, the Women's Rugby World Cup in 2021, this year's Rugby World Cup Sevens and the 2018 and 2019 under-20 world champs, it said in a statement. Free-to-air coverage for the women's event will be announced closer to the date.

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.

Sky TV CEO John Fellet. The tournament will be offered on a pay-to-watch basis, with packages to include a tournament pass and passes for individual matches. The Rugby World Cup rights are sold by IMG Media and are unrelated to SANZAAR rights which consist of All Blacks tests, Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup, which SkyTV has the rights to through to 2020. I can tell you there will not be ads during live games of the Rugby World Cup.

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