Will Coliseum get the rugby?

The Herald reports:

The internet-based broadcaster that snatched English Premier League football away from Sky is now eyeing the All Blacks.

This weekend Sports Media will stream the first of 380 Premier League matches to subscribers.

CSM chief executive Tim Martin said he could not reveal the number of PremierLeaguePass subscriptions, which start at $149.90, sold so far, but interest had “ramped up massively” this week.

“You don’t know how the sales curve is really going to shape because we haven’t done this before … we are well into the thousands, well into, and that is tremendously encouraging.”

He confirmed Coliseum is eyeing a much bigger scrap with Sky – contesting the rights to the All Blacks and Super 15 when they come up in 2015.

Although there had been no concrete discussions, Mr Martin said he had met with New Zealand bosses. He acknowledged they had a strong relationship with Sky, but an eventual play for was realistic.

Yesterday Sky’s director of sport Richard Last said it was committed to holding on to rugby rights.

“There is always a competitive marketplace … I don’t think there is any piece of content that is an absolute slam-dunk must-have, because you have to run a business.

“Obviously everybody who is interested in television in New Zealand would be interested in rugby. Winning the rights is easy – you just pay more than the person with the highest bid.”

Excellent news. Competition for sporting rights is good for the sports, and I believe good for viewers also. It is quite exciting to see video on demand emerging as an alternative to traditional television.

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