TVNZ's 11th-hour decision to go to Rio

TVNZ has made an 11th hour decision to accredit its reporters for the Rio Olympics, despite strenuously objecting to the news access terms imposed by Sky. Photo / Getty Images
TVNZ has made an 11th hour decision to accredit its reporters for the Rio Olympics, despite strenuously objecting to the news access terms imposed by Sky. Photo / Getty Images

TVNZ has made an 11th hour decision to accredit its reporters for the Rio Olympics, despite strenuously objecting to the news access terms imposed by Sky.

With the first of TVNZ's reporters set to depart for Brazil today, the organisation said it had little option but to agree to the accreditation terms imposed.

"Agreeing to accreditation is a pragmatic decision that should not be seen as agreeing with Sky's restrictive demands which are out of touch with how people now consume news," TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick said in a statement.

"We acknowledge that Sky has paid significant license fees to acquire exclusive rights to the Olympics games but consider the Rio news access rules to be demonstration of Sky leveraging its market dominance to impede the ability of New Zealand's news media to report on Olympic sporting events in a timely manner.

"It's one thing to restrict full coverage of live events to those who pay, but we think it's quite another step to prevent New Zealanders from accessing sports news in a timely manner unless they're prepared to pay for a premium subscription."

TVNZ's broadside against Sky follows NZME and Fairfax's decision last week to withdraw their reporting terms from Rio in protest at what Herald editor in chief Shayne Currie described as "unduly restrictive" terms imposed by the broadcaster.

- NZ Herald

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