1 Jun 2018

Spark customers win deal on Sky sports coverage

4:13 pm on 1 June 2018

Sky TV has cut a deal to deliver sports coverage to Spark's broadband customers.

Spark New Zealand

Spark said its unlimited broadband customers would get access to Sky TV's sports coverage at a reasonable price. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The two companies have agreed that Sky's Fanpass, which provides online coverage of key sports, will be available to Spark customers with unlimited broadband plans.

The deal should cool the dispute between them over access to premium sport content.

Spark had been a vigourous critic of Sky TV's dominance of premier sports content, and turned up the volume when a merger between the pay TV operator and Spark's biggest competitor, Vodafone, was proposed.

That merger was abandoned last year after the Commerce Commission gave it the thumbs down, in part because of the dominance in live sport that would have resulted.

The media scene changed a bit this year with Spark joining TVNZ to buy the broadcast rights for next year's Rugby World Cup.

Spark said its customers would get access to sports at a reasonable price, but was not talking to Sky about any other content rights.

Sky said only that it was pleased to be working with Spark.

Spark is offering customers a 12-month subscription to Fan Pass at a discount rate of $30 a month, which compares with the standard price of $55.99 a month.

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