Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Internet broadcaster eyes rugby

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

This weekend Coliseum 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 Rugby bosses. He acknowledged they had a strong relationship with Sky, but an eventual play for rugby 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."

Mr Last said Sky had not lost a noticeable number of subscribers because of its limited EPL coverage, and the clubs deal was a sound offering after it missed out on live rights.

Nick Brown, general manager public affairs for New Zealand Rugby, said the long-standing relationship with Sky was valued and it showcased rugby well.

"The Sky contract concludes at the end of 2015 and along with our Sanzar partners we will be looking for broadcast and content arrangements that deliver the best outcomes for fans and the sport in New Zealand," he said.

Premier League: Who's showing what

Coliseum Sports Media

• All 380 games live and on demand.

• Via internet-based platforms such as smart TVs, iPhones, iPads and android devices.

• Internet-based subscription with packages start at $149.90 for the season.

TVNZ

• Delayed free-to-air coverage of one match a week on Sunday afternoon.

• Monday night highlights package.

• Website TVNZ Ondemand will have the game and highlights available until Friday night each week.

Sky

• Delayed coverage of all EPL, Cup and European matches involving Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United.

• Basic package with sports from $73.37 a month.

Sommet Sports

• Delayed coverage of Chelsea games.

• Free-to-air via Freeview.

- NZ Herald

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