Sports on TV

Stuff reported yesterday:

Sport broadcasting in New Zealand continues to fracture with MotoGP shifting to free-to-air television.

The New Zealand broadcast rights for the rest of the 2013 MotoGP motorcycle racing season have been secured by Sommet Sports TV.

The new Freeview outfit, whose channel is provisionally up and running but set to launch officially in 10 days, will offer live coverage of the 2013 MotoGP series and highlights programmes.

The development confirms a second sporting asset has been wrested from Sky Television, 16 days after the subscription giant dramatically lost the New Zealand broadcast rights for the English Premier League football to previously unknown group Coliseum Sports Media.

Also Telecom announced yesterday:

TELECOM BROADBAND CUSTOMERS GET SPECIAL ACCESS TO BARCLAYS ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE (BEPL)

• Telecom the official Telecommunications & ICT Partner for PremierLeaguePass.com
• All 50GB broadband plans upgraded to 80GB at no extra cost – means fans can view more content, including BEPL

Football fans who are customers of the country’s biggest broadband provider Telecom New Zealand will be offered some of the most affordable access rates to the Barclays (English) Premier League (BEPL) via its nationwide broadband network and PremierLeaguePass.com. 

Telecom is offering existing broadband customers a 15 per cent discount1 on the PermierLeaguePass.com ‘Season Pass’, and they can also go in to a draw to win one of 1,000 free ‘Season’ passes. 

New Telecom broadband2 customers signing up for the mid-range plans on a 12 month contract can choose a free ‘Season Pass’ with access to all 380 live games available from PremierLeaguePass.com.

It’s great to see both greater competition in securing “broadcast” rights, but also the business model changing more towards online access so you can watch them at your convenience – not just when a broadcaster decides to show them.

A few people have been demanding that the Government must step in and regulate Sky Television, because they have been so successful at securing good content. I think the  announcements of the last fortnight show how misguided those calls were – in fact they seem like tall poppy syndrome. Regulation should be a last resort – not a first resort.

I’m a very happy Sky customer, but I’m delighted other providers are winning some rights against them. Competition makes companies stronger – and benefits the consumer.

By coincidence I’m co-facilitating a session next Wednesday at Nethui which will be discussing where is going, and what the future may look like in a few years. I think it is a hugely exciting area. We’ll have most of the broadcasters there, plus other providers like Quickflix. Will hopefully be a great discussion.

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