John Drinnan

Media writer for the New Zealand Herald

Britomart man part of online soccer coup

Peter Cooper, a lawyer and businessman who developed the Britomart area, is a partner in Coliseum. Photo / Natalie Slade
Peter Cooper, a lawyer and businessman who developed the Britomart area, is a partner in Coliseum. Photo / Natalie Slade

The developer behind the makeover of Auckland's Britomart has thrown his financial weight behind Coliseum, the new media group that last week grabbed the rights to English Premier League soccer coverage.

But Coliseum CEO Tim Martin said Peter Cooper would be a silent partner and would not be fronting the business.

Cooper - whose wealth the NBR Rich List estimates at $650 million - is a Northlander who divides his time between California and Auckland.

Coliseum Sports Management last week outbid Sky TV for the rights to the league in a move that may bring sweeping changes to pay-TV sports broadcasting.

Cooper's Auckland-based investment firm Cooper & Co owns half of Coliseum while the other half is owned by Martin's firm MMCT.

Cooper declined to talk to the Herald about his role in Coliseum but Martin said the company had a clear game-plan to package up English Premier League soccer to meet consumer demand for slick sports content.

Coliseum was looking at other soccer competitions for online coverage and would ultimately target other sports, he said.

The company had already worked with New Zealand Cricket and the Rugby Union on other marketing roles.

Cooper was approached because he would open doors for the company, Martin said.

Martin and his wife, Kate - who both have a background in advertising and marketing - co-own MMCT with Simon Chesterman and Kate's father, Kenneth Taylor, who introduced them to Cooper.

Cooper is well liked in Auckland business circles and known as the developer of Britomart.

He and his family have homes in Newport Beach, California, and Takapuna. It is understood he also spends time at Cooper & Co's Mountain Landing Development in the Bay of Islands.

"Peter has a lot of interests beyond property - including some very interesting green projects," Martin said.

"But Coliseum is a left-field investment for him, as this sort of investment is for anyone," he added.

Cooper is a former executive director of Lion Nathan and chief executive of LD Nathan. He practised law for 11 years andwas a partner at Russell McVeagh in Auckland, where he specialised in commercial and property law.

Soccer coverage

• Starts August 1 in a three-year deal.

• It costs $239 to buy all 380 matches, plus extra content.

• A season pass costs $149.90.

• The games can be watched on Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, or on Apple TV.

• One Premier League game will be shown each Sunday on TV One.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 23 Dec 2014 00:41:14 Processing Time: 581ms