Hot Off the Press Release: TVNZ Sets Sail

TVNZ has unveiled its America’s Cup coverage for TVNZ 1 and TVNZ OnDemand, from live broadcasts to a mockumentary from the Educators crew.

Here’s the media release:

TVNZ announces its blockbuster coverage line-up for the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA

TVNZ is bringing New Zealand all the action on and off the water, with exclusive coverage of the 36th America’s Cup.

The jam-packed summer of sailing includes the PRADA America’s Cup World Series, the PRADA America’s Cup Christmas Race, the PRADA Cup and the main event, where Emirates Team New Zealand will take on a new challenger to defend the world’s oldest sporting trophy, the 36th America’s Cup presented by PRADA.

Racing will be live and free-to-air on TVNZ 1 and on TVNZ OnDemand, ensuring viewers around the country can access one of the biggest sporting events in the ways they choose to watch.

Melodie Robinson, TVNZ’s GM of Sport and Events says it won’t be your usual sports broadcast.

“We’ve all had one heck of a year and New Zealand is fortunate that we are one of the few countries who can gather in numbers to enjoy live sport.

“And while the 36th America’s Cup racing is going to blow the minds of people lucky enough to see the amazing boats, we’re balancing the highly technical sport with a dose of entertainment and action off the water.

“We’ve built a talented team to take viewers from the racing on the water to the many attractions and celebrations on shore. Our team will be nestled amongst the contenders in a special purpose-built studio, to deliver the latest news, views and to showcase the party atmosphere so audiences around the country feel a part of the action.

“Bringing Te Ao Maori to the America’s Cup was a big focus. TVNZ has been privileged to work with Maori artist, Johnson Witehira who combines components of Maori carving patterns and contemporary graphic insights into his work.

“The creative treatment we have used in this production has Maori design front and centre.”


This summer, TVNZ will bring viewers every race from the World Series and Christmas Race to the Prada Cup and finally the 36th America’s Cup. The racing schedule is as follows*:

RADA America’s Cup World Series

17-19 December 2020

PRADA America’s Cup Christmas Race

20 December 2020


15 January – 22 February 2021

PRADA 36th America’s Cup

6 March – 15 March 2021

Each race day will kick off on TVNZ 1 an hour prior to the starting horn with insights, interviews, weather reports and news. We’ll cross live to the action on the water and from the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland with our America’s Cup presenting and reporting team and their special guests.

Following the build-up, TVNZ will broadcast the expertly produced world feed with superb data and graphic information for every event, along with a world-class commentary team.

TVNZ will be celebrating the sailing and our sailors across the schedule with a new documentary, a hilarious mockumentary and extensive news and current affairs coverage of all the moments that matter.

Black Magic: This informative documentary captures how one of our greatest heroes, Sir Peter Blake, helped carve out a New Zealand identity as innovators and world class sailors. Black Magic tells the story of how humble heroes took New Zealand to the world stage and the nation to its feet with the biggest homecoming parade the country has ever seen. Produced with the support of NZ on Air, viewers can look forward to this in January.

Last at 11: From the team behind smash-hit series Educators, comes a new local comedy show starring an ensemble cast including  Kimberley Crossman, William Waiirua, Tom Sainsbury, Kura Forrester and some bemused crew members of Emirates Team New Zealand as themselves. Join a dysfunctional news team as they try to uncover the secrets behind Emirates Team New Zealand’s bid to win the America’s Cup. An eight episode mini-series (6 minutes duration) will be available on TVNZ OnDemand late December and a one-hour special episode will screen on TVNZ 1 a week before the America’s Cup.

1 News: Our award-winning 1 News team will be at the forefront of all the action, reporting across Breakfast, Midday, Te Karere, 1 NEWS at Six, Seven Sharp and Tonight. The team will deliver breaking news coverage and exclusive interviews to give viewers an in-depth understanding of this great competition.


Toni Street will host from TVNZ’s waterfront studio, she is joined by Scotty Morrison to guide you through the summer of racing in Auckland harbour.


TVNZ’s Jack Tame, Emily van Velthooven and Kimberlee Downs team up with experienced sailor Jesse Tuke to capture reactions and celebrations from Auckland’s waterfront. Jesse has a special role reporting on the water from a chase boat this summer.


Scotty Stevenson brings his extensive professional broadcasting and sporting experience to lead the expert commentary team with Phil Robertson and Peter Lester. Phil is a multi-time world match racing winner and winner of the inaugural M32 World Championship who will bring his unique expert insight to race commentary this America’s Cup. Peter is a former NZ Yachtsman of the Year and three time America’s Cup competitor. He held the High Performance Manager role at Yachting New Zealand and is perfectly qualified to enlighten TVNZ viewers through all the sailing action.

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