Hot Off the Press Release: Spark Adds NBA and WRC

Spark announced this afternoon that it would launch a dedicated NBA TV channel as part of its monthly subscription service.

It initially will be available on web browsers, Apple iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, Google Chromecast and selected Samsung TVs, with Apple TV, and Panasonic, LG and Sony Smart TVs to follow over the first six months

The streaming platform also will add World Rally Championship and Liverpool TV, a 24/7 channel that will feature live coverage and highlights of Liverpool Football Club games.

Here’s the press release in full:

Spark Sport adds NBA TV, World Rally Championship and Liverpool TV; reveals details on how Kiwis will be able to watch the new service

  • Spark Sport to distribute NBA TV, the NBA’s 24/7 dedicated channel
  • Spark Sport secures rights for World Rally Championship, and Liverpool TV
  • Streaming service reveals details on the range of ways that a customer can watch Spark Sport

NBA TV

Spark Sport announced today it will distribute NBA (National Basketball Association) TV to fans in New Zealand. NBA TV is the NBA’s 24/7 dedicated channel.

Spark Sport subscribers will be able to watch 6-7 NBA games per week on Spark Sport. A range of NBA content including highlights, documentaries, Hardwood Classic Games and NBA studio shows, including The Starters and NBA Gametime will also be available on the streaming service.

Purchasing a Spark Sport monthly subscription will enable sports fans to access NBA TV content, in addition to the growing stable of sports content, for a single monthly price.

Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch, said Spark was thrilled to be bringing more action from the NBA to New Zealand.

“Basketball is one of the fastest growing sports in New Zealand – we’re confident this will encourage a whole new audience to jump onto Spark Sport. The 2018-19 season is underway and Spark Sport will launch in time for basketball fans to enjoy NBA games and programming.”

“With their extensive portfolio of premium sports content, Spark Sport is an ideal partner to help increase the NBA’s presence in New Zealand,” said Ramez Sheikh, NBA Asia Head of Global Content & Media Distribution.

“There’s never been a better time to be an NBA fan, and we’re excited to work with Spark Sport to provide comprehensive and easy access to NBA games and content.”

WRC

Spark has also secured the media rights for the FIA World Rally Championship in New Zealand.

The 2019 calendar covers 14 rallies across five continents, featuring gravel, asphalt and snow and ice, and culminates at the Rally Australia finale at Coffs Harbour on 14-17 November. Spark Sport will stream rallies live and will also host a variety of highlights content.

Latch says: “The inclusion of the FIA World Rally Championship in our motorsports line up cements Spark Sport as a destination for motorsports fans. The 2019 rallies will provide viewers with a range of exciting events in some amazing destinations.”

WRC Promoter Managing Director Oliver Ciesla said: “New Zealand has an amazing motorsport following and Spark Sport viewers will love the drama, thrills and adventure of the WRC as it travels the globe amid spectacular scenery and the toughest of driving conditions.”

 Liverpool TV

Finally, Spark has secured the media rights for Liverpool FC TV, a 24/7 channel of content from the famous Premier League club, Liverpool FC.

The channel features live coverage and highlights of U23 & U18 games, full replays of every first team match in every competition including Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, as well as exclusive manager and player interviews, live pre and post-match coverage and exclusive features and documentaries, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Watching Spark Sport 

Today Spark Sport is also revealing the range of ways that customers will be able to access the sports streaming service.

From launch, it will be available via popular web browsers, Apple iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, Google Chromecast and selected Samsung TVs.

Over the first six months after launch, Spark Sport will gradually expand to become available on a range of content platforms including Apple TV, Panasonic, LG and Sony Smart TVs and more.

The Spark Sport app will be available from the relevant app store for each brand. Full details on device support and how to get connected will be available via a comprehensive Spark Sport help website.

Spark will announce more details about Spark Sport, including pricing options, over the next few months. In the meantime, New Zealand sports fans can register their interest at www.spark.co.nz/sport.

Now on Spark Sport:

Rugby

  • Rugby World Cup 2019
  • Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021
  • World Rugby U20 Championships 2019
  • Heineken Champions Cup

Football

  • English Premier League
  • Manchester United TV
  • Liverpool TV

Motorsport

  • Formula One World Championships
  • Formula 2 Championship
  • GP3 Series
  • 2019 Porsche Super Cup Series
  • FIA World Rally Championships

Basketball

  • National Basketball Association (NBA)

Hockey

  • Hockey World Cup
  • Hockey Pro League
  • Olympic Qualification
  • National Hockey League

About the NBA

Spark Sport will show 6-7 NBA games per week throughout the season. Some games will be live, some will be delayed.

The NBA is a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues: The National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League.

The NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.

NBA rosters at the start of the 2018-19 season featured 108 international players from 42 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass.

The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 1.5 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognised youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.

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2 Responses to “Hot Off the Press Release: Spark Adds NBA and WRC”

  1. In October you noted that Duke was going to retain FormulaE and WRC for this year and next (http://www.screenscribe.net/channels/duke-nukes-top-codes/). Has TVNZ sold the WRC rights to Spark? Or has TVNZ not renewed them for 2019? Another sport that falls off FTA and into pay TV. Will Spark be adding MLS, NFL and AFL do you think?

  2. Sports rights are so tangled I couldn’t even begin to comment. The NZ Herald reports Sky as saying Spark’s NBA deal wouldn’t affect its coverage and the same could be true of WRC — it could be as simple as linear vs digital rights. Have asked TVNZ to clarify.

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