Sports on TV

July 5th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

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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17 Responses to “Sports on TV”

  1. lazza (381 comments) says:

    Question for Slim Dave … how will UF broadband losers (we will never get fibre links) like us, in the rural/sticks fare if comprehensive sports package inclusive TV reception can only be delivered over steam-driven copper wire? If SkyTV gets guttted … we will be too … Agree?

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  2. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    Oh the humanity

    English Soccer and MotoGp not on Sky.

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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  3. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    Lazza – my understanding is the rights will be “sub-leased” to television channels so people will have the choice of viewing them online or via TV.

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  4. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    It is far too easy to look at an interested party (print media, internet) headline and ignore the reality beneath.
    Take English Premier league soccer (or kick it with your head :) ).

    Sky said that it had upped its offer substantially, in a bid to retain the rights.

    BUT…. BUT…. Sky also said that there were MORE viewers of Phoenix matches than English Premier Leaguer matches. Hard to justify a ball breaker fee on that basis. Moreover, the tribal affiliations of ex-poms are getting weaker are they not?

    One further thing. Sky is already moving toward computer based viewing…. AND …. My SKY HDi is a superb tool that beats the lot.

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  5. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    my understanding is the rights will be “sub-leased” to television channels

    Good point, my wager is that the uptake will be too slow for the EPL especially and Colissium will end up subbing it to TVNZ or back to Sky and just clip the ticket.

    Fellet is a sharp operator if the EPL was really worth it he would have retained it.

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  6. OneTrack (3,114 comments) says:

    lazza – don’t know where you live but copper isn’t necessarily too “slow”. Most city copper (at least) is more than fast enough to handle sports “broadcasts” – no UFB required.

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  7. marcw (250 comments) says:

    Both TiVo and MyFreeview provide similar tools to MySky, including HD, on free-to air channels. Sadly, TiVo is no longer availble for purchase after an appalling botched sales introduction, but for those of us who got in when the opportunity was there – well, we are the lucky ones.

    Also, I believe Sky declined to take MotoGP, deciding they didn’t think the viewing audience and time zones made it worthwile. Not sure if it was because they were outbid.

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  8. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Damn, that is the best news I’ve had all week.

    The big TV is connected to Sky, the smaller one to freeview.

    The old boy will have to watch the MotoGP in the family room, leaving me in peace and comfort.

    Sigh – God does answer prayers! :-)

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  9. lazza (381 comments) says:

    Thanks David … so Sky are the sub-lessees for programmes owned by others. I think there is little chance that Sky will be afforded live or anywhere near it nor a “full coverage” of the competitors sports products under the terms of “any” lease. Time will tell … sighhhh

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  10. James Stephenson (2,191 comments) says:

    @lazza – Telecom are talking about putting LTE (4G) on their RBI sites from 2014

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  11. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    Lance @ 7.47am gets it!
    Sky won’t be losing any sleep over not having english soccer or the MotoGP.
    They know full well that as long as they have rugby, the viewers will stay.
    All this talk of increased compretition is rubbish and plays into Sky’s hand. Sky will NEVER lose the rugby and they are the only broadcaster who have deep enough pockets to ensure that this will happen.

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  12. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see this in action.

    Dime has fibre. I was some live broadcasts on youtube (UFC press conferences). The quality is ok, but not always consistant.

    isky is terrible. even on fibre. i have a 32 inch lcd connected to my pc as a second monitor. when i go max screen and try and watch the league it is just horrific.

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  13. jcuk (693 comments) says:

    Nero is criticised for fiddling while Rome burnt … nothing on Kiwis and their sports GHU

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  14. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    dime (6,581) Says:

    July 5th, 2013 at 9:23 am
    It will be interesting to see this in action.

    …. isky is terrible. even on fibre. i have a 32 inch lcd connected to my pc as a second monitor. when i go max screen and try and watch the league it is just horrific.
    …………..
    It is the product Dime. Nothing else :)

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  15. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Sky will NEVER lose the rugby and they are the only broadcaster who have deep enough pockets to ensure that this will happen.

    I am not so sure.
    The way it sounded other day from the way the Rugby Union were talking, they were considering running an online model themselves.

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  16. dave_c_ (219 comments) says:

    Jolly good show ! yer right – now we can all pay more companies more, for overpriced content !

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  17. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    emmess, Sky knows that if they lose the rugby, they are dead in the water. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone moaning about how expensive their sky subscription is and the only thing they get it for is the rugby (and to a lesser extent the rugby league), then I’d be able to retire early.

    If the rugby union start talking about going it alone (unlikely in my opinion), Sky will use their market share to make them an offer they can’t refuse. This is where Sky effectively have a monopoly, and all this talk about how there is now competition because of sky losing english soccer and MotoGP is utter rubbish.

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