Hot Off the Press Release: Historic Deal for Sky and NZ Rugby

Sky TV will seek shareholder approval on Thursday for what it dubs a “revolutionary” deal with NZ Rugby that ties up multi-platform rights and provides the sporting body a 5% stake in the satcaster.

Here’s the full press release:

New Zealand Rugby and Sky Announce Revolutionary Broadcast Agreement

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Sky have agreed a revolutionary new broadcast deal that will see Sky deepen its investment in all levels of rugby and NZR become a shareholder in Sky. 
NZR and Sky today announced the new broadcast agreement which extends Sky’s existing SANZAAR broadcast rights to 2025. The five-year agreement includes:
  • The rights to broadcast rugby in New Zealand from 2021 to 2025
  • A record investment in New Zealand and SANZAAR rugby
  • New Zealand Rugby becoming a 5% shareholder in Sky

The broadcast rights include exclusive coverage of all Investec Rugby Championship, Steinlager Series, Investec Super Rugby, Mitre 10 Cup and all New Zealand’s other domestic competitions, including women’s competitions like the Farah Palmer Cup.

NZR Chief Executive Steve Tew said they were delighted with the new agreement which clearly signalled that Sky and NZR had a strong commitment to grow the game. (Click here to view video comments from Steve Tew.)

“This is a great result for NZR – 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.

“I would like to thank Martin and his Board for the confidence they have shown in NZR with this investment and we look forward to continuing to build our long standing and deep partnership as we both face the challenges and opportunities that a rapidly changing broadcast, entertainment and sporting world presents,” Steve Tew said.

Sky CEO Martin Stewart said Sky was thrilled with the new partnership and what it meant for Sky’s customers, investors, staff and other New Zealand sport partners.

“We are delighted to have secured this superb rugby content for our customers to the end of 2025. 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 NZR 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% equity stake that NZR is taking in Sky. We have long known that there is mutual benefit when each of us succeeds, and we’re pleased that NZR is becoming an investor in Sky.

“Rugby is a core and significant part of our offer as the Home of Sport. We know it attracts customers to Sky, who then also discover and enjoy the deep range of local and global sport that we offer. Our renewed partnership with NZR brings value to all of our sport partners, and we’re delighted to have them continuing as part of the Sky family,” Martin Stewart said.

Sky holds its AGM on Thursday 17 October, where it will seek formal approval from shareholders to complete the NZR deal.

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