Hot Off the Press Release: Sky Serves One Back

Amid Spark’s advances into its live sports domain, Sky has just announced it’s aced the rights to Australian Open tennis for three more years.

Here’s the press release in full:


Sky Sport is excited to announce that it has signed a three year extension and expansion of its broadcast relationship with Tennis Australia through to 2021 to broadcast the Australian Open. The new deal is significant as it will extend the rights agreement past the 30 year mark, having signed the first deal with Tennis Australia in August 1990. Sky Sport broadcast its first Australian Open in January 1991.

The exclusive deal ensures that Sky Sport will continue to be the home for tennis fans in New Zealand with three of the four Tennis grand slams exclusively LIVE alongside its other local and international tennis content.

The Tennis Australia broadcast agreement not only includes extensive coverage of the Australian Open, but it will also include lead-in tournaments Mastercard Hopman Cup, Brisbane International and Sydney International, as well as the AO Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off, AO Wildcard Play-off and AO qualifying.

“This three-year extension represents a new milestone in the Tennis Australia and Sky New Zealand partnership,” Tennis Australia Chief Revenue Officer Richard Heaselgrave said.

“Sky has been an amazing partner on and off screen, helping make the Australian Open one of the most popular sports events in New Zealand. Sky’s innovative approach to showcasing the full AO experience in January across all media platforms will help us drive more Kiwi visitors across the Tasman to our events.”

SkyDirector of Sport, Richard Last says: “It’s fantastic to sign this long-term deal with Tennis Australia and extend past the 30 year mark, quite an incredible feat in today’s market. Tennis Australia know they can rely on Sky to deliver this great tournament to all of their Kiwi fans, no matter where they are in the country. The Australian Open is a world class tournament and a massive highlight on the sporting calendar for our Kiwi tennis fans. The quality of the broadcast and tennis is exceptional, and we’re extremely happy to not only extend our deal, but to also increase the coverage that we offer our customers.

“I’d like to thank Tennis Australia for being such a key partner over the past 28 years that we have worked together. We look forward to many more titanic tennis battles LIVE on Sky Sport as we watch the world’s best players battle it out in the Melbourne heat each January.”

The partnership encompasses both linear TV and OTT/digital rights with multi-platform coverage of more than 800 hours of Australian Open and Australian Open Series coverage on three Sky Sport channels, including two dedicated Australian Open Pop-up channels. SKY GO will also broadcast up to 16 simultaneous court feeds during the tournament.

In addition to producing all matches LIVE from each tournament, Tennis Australia will also provide quality original programming content, including for the first time hundreds of preview, review and exclusive features available on the Sky Sport ecosystem including: daily AO highlights on free-to-air channel Prime, some special Australian Open Films on Neon, AO specific section on the SkySport Highlights App and coverage off and on court on Sky Sport’s social media accounts around the entire AO experience. 

The new Australian Open deal join a comprehensive tennis offering on SKY Sport, which includes:

  • US Open (via ESPN)
  • ASB Classic
  • Sydney International
  • Brisbane International
  • Mastercard Hopman Cup
  • AO Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off
  • AO Wildcard Play-off
  • AO qualifying
  • ATP World Series (via ESPN)
  • 2018 Wither Hills West End Cup
  • Pascoes New Zealand Tennis Championships 2018

The Australian Open will be broadcast on SKY Sport from 14-27 January 2019.

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