Sky and Three Team for State of Origin

The first State of Origin game will screen live free to air on Three, Sky and Discovery NZ announced today.

Here’s the media release:


Sky and Discovery, the global leader in real-life entertainment, have further expanded their partnership announcing today that State of Origin Game 1 will broadcast live on Three and ThreeNow on 9 June 2021, as well as live on Sky Sport and Sky Sport Now.

The remainder of the State of Origin series will be live and exclusive on Sky.

The broadcast is the first time Three has offered State of Origin in 19 years, and will enable all New Zealanders to watch Game 1 of the State of Origin series live across Three, ThreeNow, Sky and Sky Sport Now.

Come game day, Newshub Late will air at the special time of 9.30pm with State of Origin coverage commencing from 9.50pm.

Build-up, halftime and post-match commentary will be localised with a team of expert reporters and presenters from Newshub and Sky.

Sky Sport viewers will get the full experience from Nine’s expert panel starting at 9pm and going right through until kick-off at 10.10pm.

Sky customers will also get Nine’s in-depth analysis at half-time and full time as the Nine team reviews the action.

Glen Kyne, General Manager, Discovery New Zealand and Australia said: “We are excited to be bringing State of Origin to our Three audience in partnership with Sky.

“It’s been a long time since this iconic event was last seen live on free-to-air and we know Kiwis will be thrilled to catch the action live on Three and ThreeNow.”

Jonny Errington, Sky’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Sky and Discovery have been partners for many years, and we’re pleased to work together to deliver this special broadcast of Game 1 of State of Origin on Three.

“It builds on Sky’s longstanding commitment to offer key sports events to New Zealand audiences on free-to-air as well as on Sky.

“In previous years State of Origin has been offered delayed on Prime, and this partnership steps that up with the live broadcast of Game 1 on Three.”

“Our goal at Sky is to connect New Zealanders with the sport and entertainment they love, in ways that work for them.

“Partnerships are an important part of our strategy, and we look forward to working with the team at Discovery and Three to bring this match to kiwi sports fans.”

Andrew Abdo, Chief Executive of the NRL, said: “We are delighted that the first match of State of Origin, a rivalry that captures all sports lovers’ imagination, is being offered to a broader audience in New Zealand via Sky’s collaboration with Discovery.

”This is a great outcome for our fans in New Zealand.”

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7 Responses to “Sky and Three Team for State of Origin”

  1. It seems Sky has virtually given up on Prime or accepted it is never going to be a big player in FTA TV. This game could easily go on Prime live if they wanted to but I’m guessing they don’t believe it would make enough of a splash (Sky would obviously want to convert game one viewers into subscribers for the remaining games of the series). Add to that the Olympics going to TVNZb1 after 8 years on Prime. We’ve seen Phoenix and Breakers games on Prime Live this year but they are very niche. I’d be interested to see how you view it, Philip – does Prime really have much of a future?

  2. WOW, this is HUGE news for Three and I have a feeling it’s just the beginning especially with the Warner Brothers merger with Discovery :)

  3. This announcement is another blow for Prime after losing the Olympics. I guess the writing is on the wall for the network. Is Sky about to shut Prime down, Philip, or put it up for sale?

  4. I reckon they will put it up for sale.

  5. Why sell it?? It should have got out of the commercial programming market years ago. It should be positioned as Sky’s delivery vehicle for time-shifted sports shows (both replays and discussion) and network promos. Bolster that with broadcast TV movies and you’ve got a programming schedule that works, is differentiated and is economic.

  6. I think Discovery will be the best thing that ever happens to Three especially in the future when Warner Bros joins Discovery. Could not have had better timing :)

  7. I thought Prime was getting closer to TVNZ 2 and Three programming strategy since it’s been broadcasting niche British dramas pastime, I reckon that rugby union will go to Three next year.

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