In confirming TVNZ and NZME as the broadcasting partners for the 2021 America's Cup, head of Emirates Team New Zealand Grant Dalton said he wants to have the event broadcast as widely as possible.
"It never felt right to us that you shouldn't be able to watch unless you pay for it," Dalton told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning.
"Our whole philosophy, when we won, was to get it out to as many people as possible."
Given the immense popularity of the event, it comes as little surprise that MediaWorks is also understood to have been keen to get its hands on the content. This also comes as another blow for Sky, which has held the rights for the past two editions of the event.
In addition to free-to-air radio and TV, Dalton said the event would also be free in the digital space to give fans the ability to watch the action regardless of where they are.
This, he said, was a massive departure from the previous events, which often saw the content locked behind a paywall – an approach particularly detrimental in a country such as France, where only 8 per cent of potential viewers had access to the content.
Dalton says the aim is now to make the event "available anywhere, anytime," regardless of where the viewer might be.
This philosophy is in stark contrast to the approach being used by Spark for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
While TVNZ, as Spark's free-to-air partner, will screen seven matches free-to-air, including the opener and the final, it's been suggested that New Zealand fans will have to pay to watch four of the five All Blacks games in the lead up to the final.
Spark is set to charge fans around $100 for the full event, as well as offering individual games at a lower rate.
Although New Zealanders are accustomed to paying for premium sports content, the reliance on digital distribution could pose a challenge as Spark aims to make the event available to viewers across the country.
Many parts of rural New Zealand continue to struggle with poor internet connection, and fans in these regions have already expressed concern about whether they'll be forced to watch a lagged version of the games.
Suffice to say there are still no guarantee the Rugby World Cup will be available to everyone, anytime and everywhere.
Spark will obviously work hard in the lead up to the event to ensure that streams run smoothly across the country by accelerating fibre rollouts and working closely with communities.
No doubt Dalton and the organisers of the America's Cup will sleep easier knowing they don't have to worry about that logistical chore.