TVNZ’s Cup Runneth Over

First it was the Rugby World Cup, now it’s America’s Cup — TVNZ announced this morning it would broadcast and stream live the 36th America’s Cup races.

On-air and online coverage will start with the America’s Cup World series next year and culminate with Emirates Team NZ’s defence in Auckland in 2021.

Here’s the full press release:

TVNZ to push the boat out with America’s Cup coverage

• TVNZ has signed an agreement with the Defender and Challenger of Record for the exclusive national broadcast rights for the 36th America’s Cup
• All racing will be broadcast live on free to air TV and live streamed on TVNZ OnDemand:
– America’s Cup World Series 2019
– America’s Cup World Series 2020
– America’s Cup Christmas Race 2020: Auckland
– Prada Cup – Challenger Selection Series 2021: Auckland
– 36th America’s Cup Match Presented by Prada 2021: Auckland

TVNZ has secured the exclusive broadcast rights for New Zealand to the 36th America’s Cup which includes the preliminary World Series events, the Christmas Race in 2020, followed by the Prada Cup in early 2021 and the 36th America’s Cup Presented by Prada in March 2021.

The event’s return to TVNZ will give New Zealanders access to all races with live and free broadcast and streaming across TVNZ’s platforms.

Coverage will begin with the America’s Cup World Series in 2019 and culminate with Emirates Team New Zealand’s defence of the Auld Mug in 2021 during the 36th America’s Cup Match Presented by Prada in Auckland.

The deal resumes TVNZ’s association with the event that goes back to 1987, when it was part of the original family of five sponsors of Emirates Team New Zealand.

TVNZ’s Chief Executive Kevin Kenrick said that TVNZ will deliver viewers extensive Cup coverage across TVNZ 1, Duke, TVNZ OnDemand and 1 News Now.

“The event returning to TVNZ brings to mind Peter Montgomery’s iconic TV commentary – ‘The America’s Cup is now New Zealand’s Cup’ – because it brings the whole country together and as a nation we’re really invested in the team’s success.

“We’re going to push the boat out to make our coverage accessible to the biggest audiences so everyone feels part of the action.

“From the first boats hitting the water to the final Cup race, we’re committed to bringing New Zealanders every moment of the America’s Cup. Every regatta and every race will be screened live and free across a range of platforms and devices.”

Grant Dalton, CEO of Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, said TVNZ’s involvement will maximise the number of New Zealanders that see the event.

“It has been a fundamental principle of Emirates Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record that the America’s Cup be accessible to as many Kiwis as possible since we won the trophy back almost one year ago.

“TVNZ have committed to provide coverage of this America’s Cup like no other, so we are delighted that the America’s Cup Match Presented by Prada and all preceding events will be broadcast live and free to air for all New Zealanders to watch and be part of.”

“Within Luna Rossa we are very happy about this agreement with New Zealand’s most prominent broadcaster. It is great news for all of us. We are looking forward to showing the potential of the new America’s Cup Class boats,” said Max Sirena, Skipper of Luna Rossa.

“As the Challenger of Record for the 36th America’s Cup, we are pleased to jointly sign this agreement with TVNZ and the Defender.

“It is the first broadcast rights agreement to be signed and exemplifies our commitment to ensuring wide reaching broadcast and digital coverage of the America’s Cup both in New Zealand and globally,” stated Laurent Esquier, CEO of COR 36.

And as part of TVNZ’s agreement, NZME’s Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport will deliver exclusive radio commentary of the event.

TVNZ has returned to the sports arena, with a number of key sports of national significance screening on free to air in recent times.

In April, it delivered four channels of Commonwealth Games coverage, which reached three million New Zealanders.

Between now and 2021, TVNZ will be broadcasting a number of Rugby World Cup matches.

It also has a longstanding commitment to elite Paralympic sport.

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13 Responses to “TVNZ’s Cup Runneth Over”

  1. I wonder if MediaWorks were after the America’s Cup as well and if so I hope they got a fair hearing. It actually would have been more logical especially as they have got their own radio stations 🙂

  2. Yes, apparently it was a bidding war between MediaWorks and TVNZ. Winner is rumoured to be paying $3m plus a heap of sponsorship advertising.

  3. They were, Trevor. Forced the bidding up. MediaWorks have little experience in sports coverage of their own (filming, transmission etc). Most of the sports they’ve had are external productions. Glad they didn’t get the rights. Their radio stations have no experience with live sports commentaries so there would have been a lot of learning/recruiting to do in a couple of years. Not impossible but would have been unlikely.

  4. Given the hollowing out at TVNZ over the years it would seem that, based on recent experience, MediaWorks has as much experience with live sports as TVNZ.

  5. TVNZ’s digital stats for April make interesting reading. It appears that only 175,000 households watched the ComGames online. And streamed (on average) 13 times at 20 minutes (on average) per stream. Did I read that correctly? Only 10% of households watched online/out-of-home?

  6. Thanks for the replies guys, it makes interesting reading.I guess more people will see it on TVNZ but I can’t help thinking it would have been more fun on MediaWorks 🙂

  7. Next stop, Formula One like the not-so olden days? I know we’ve invested more into Team NZ but we do have a kiwi F1 driver for the first time in years – oh and McLaren which started in NZ. TVNZ already have Formula E on Duke so this would complement it well.

  8. Formula 1 is moving to a streaming model worldwide so it wouldn’t surprise me if Sky lost the rights/decided not to renew, given the lack of exclusivity.

  9. A loss of exclusivity just means a lower price – given the proportion of households that stream there is still a sizeable segment that will probably want a broadcast option.

  10. Sky doesnt particularly like deals where they aren’t exclusive rightholders though.

  11. And that can be said of all of the media organisations. Exclusivity is the point of difference. Sky doesnt have exclusivity on many American sports (carried on TVNZ). It doesn’t have exclusivity on EPL (and when it first lost the rights it bought the club rights – weakening the concept of exclusivity for EPL in this market (as has Foxtel vs Optus in Australia, for example)). Netflix dropped the EPIX movie library purely on the basis that the library was non-exclusive and it only wanted exclusive content for its subscribers. Cue the same in this part of the media world, all broadcasters want exclusive content to attract subscribers. Did it work for Lightbox? That joy of exclusive content didnt overcome the millstone around its parent’s neck. The biggest joy of losing exclusivity is the massive reduction in the value of the rights if they become non-exclusive – when PGA went away last time, Sky sourced other golf content and the PGA clearly admitted that streaming didn’t work at that time (even giving first/second round content to TVNZ to broadcast didnt seem to make the streaming model economic to continue, did it)?

  12. In light of TVNZ’s cup running over (and the FIFA streaming debacle in Australia) I’m interested to know how the Under20’s RWC went on Duke? Any news as to viewership? And did TVNZ threaten its concurrent stream record when the games were livestreamed on Duke?

  13. The live final on Duke (5am-7am on Monday) averaged 0.2% of 18-49s, 0.0% of 25-54s and 18-39s, and 0.1% of 5+.

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