Hot Off the Press Release: Sky-TVNZ 2020 Pact

In a surprise move, Sky has announced TVNZ will be its free-to-air partner for the 2020 Olympic Games rather than its own FTA channel, Prime.

The TVNZ service will include live streaming on TVNZ On Demand.

Here’s the full release:

Sky and TVNZ partner to deliver the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 

Sky has today confirmed TVNZ as its free-to-air partner for the summer edition of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, in 2020. 

Under the partnership, Sky will stream and broadcast all of the Tokyo 2020 action through extensive coverage across 12 HD channels and its streaming platforms. TVNZ 1 will have 12 hours of free-to-air coverage throughout each afternoon and evening, with a break for 1 News at 6pm and Seven Sharp. 

Martin Stewart, CEO of Sky, said: “The Olympics is one of the most significant events on the sport calendar, and we know that New Zealanders love to watch the many special moments it presents. 

“We were delighted to secure the rights for Tokyo 2020, and are pleased to now be bringing TVNZ on board as our free-to-air partner. The Olympic Games will involve over 300 events across 33 sports, and New Zealanders will be spoiled for choice with more live action and content than ever before.”

New Zealanders wanting a truly immersive experience will be able to watch every minute of every event via Sky Sport’s 12 dedicated Olympics channels. For those wanting to watch on the go, Sky subscribers will be able to use Sky Go, while casual viewers will be able to access all of the Olympic Games coverage on Sky Sport Now. Highlights, in-depth news, and behind the scenes features will be part of the Sky service. 

Those wanting free coverage will be able to access an extensive range of sports on TVNZ 1, including many of the key events featuring our New Zealand athletes. The TVNZ service will include live streaming on TVNZ On Demand. 

Martin Stewart said: “We have a strong record of delivering free-to-air sport to New Zealanders via Prime, including Rio 2016. We will continue to offer a range of other sport and entertainment experiences free to all New Zealanders on Prime.

“The Olympics is one of those special events that can attract the attention of the whole country, and this partnership with TVNZ will enable us to draw on the promotional power of our collective platforms to encourage viewership of Tokyo 2020 by the widest range of New Zealanders. 

“Local partnerships are a key part of Sky’s strategy to have our content in the homes and hands of every New Zealander, and to make the best possible use of all of the content rights that we hold.” 

Kevin Kenrick, TVNZ CEO, commented: “TVNZ is thrilled to be Sky’s free-to-air partner for Tokyo 2020. Major event sport continues to resonate with kiwi audiences and we are committed to working together to ensure the greatest number of New Zealanders enjoy watching this iconic event across both TVNZ and Sky.” 

Martin Stewart concluded: “2.8 million New Zealanders engaged with the Olympic Games Rio 2016 on Sky and Prime. Our shared goal with TVNZ is to increase that viewership even further, and surround New Zealand with Tokyo 2020. We look forward to partnering with TVNZ and to delivering a superb Olympic Games experience next July.” 

Specific details of the coverage will be announced closer to the time. 

Tokyo 2020 runs from 24 July to 9 August 2020. 

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2 Responses to “Hot Off the Press Release: Sky-TVNZ 2020 Pact”

  1. Why?? What?? This terrible news for Prime? What is going on here? Are they going to close Prime? This is a marquee event for Prime? Philip, this is bewildering?

  2. I think it’s more to do with strategy, return and profile. Sky gets a licence fee from TVNZ while showing it can be a good corporate citizen by sharing the rights with a competitor. TVNZ, with its linear and digital platforms, will complement Sky’s coverage better than Prime could, which still isn’t HD on Freeview. And TVNZ 1 continues to be NZ’s quintessential grass roots channel, and getting back to grass roots is what Sky’s new sports strategy is all about, from platforming the more niche Kiwi codes to sponsoring the likes of the stadium in Wellington.

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