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Current as of 26/12/14 07:40PM NZST

Team shake-up in the sports department at Sky TV

By Kathryn Powley

Martin Crowe. File photo / Doug Sherring
Martin Crowe. File photo / Doug Sherring

A high-level personnel shake-up is underway in Sky Television's sports department.

The company's four top executive sports producers, Martin Crowe, Tui McKendrick, Andrew Fyfe and James Cameron, were called into meetings on Friday where they were told about a proposal to restructure their jobs.

The Herald on Sunday can reveal the pay television provider suffered a $15 million loss over its Olympics coverage.

Sky chief executive officer John Fellett confirmed the loss, but would not discuss the restructuring.

Asked whether restructuring was underway, he said: "I can't discuss anything, you know. If the Herald was looking at restructuring and I called you guys up as a reporter, I doubt that you guys would be able to tell me anything."

Asked specifically about Crowe, McKendrick, Fyfe and Cameron: "No. As I've indicated before I can't comment."

Asked whether the $15 million loss was related to the restructuring, he said no.

"Sadly the $15 million loss, you can put at my decision-making abilities.

"I'm the one that decided to go ahead and do the Olympics, not anybody else in the organisation."

He said everything about the Olympics had been expensive.

"Keep in mind the deal was done five years ago. Time is the enemy of all programming deals. Five years ago I don't think there was a vampire television series out there, now it seems like every third one is a vampire television series."

He said the extra costs of the Olympics were mainly due to technological changes.

"It went from being on free-to-air and maybe an extra channel on pay TV platform, to evolving into maximum coverage of every single event. That was the issue. We learned a lot, and I think we can do it a lot smarter next time."

Long events such as the Olympics did little to boost subscriptions.

Fellet said it was more important for Sky TV to secure the rights to the Super Rugby than the Rugby World Cup.

- Herald on Sunday

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