TVNZ says it will throw its hat in the ring for broadcast rights to the next America's Cup having been outbid this year by Sky TV.

TVNZ has had the rights for the past 25 years since New Zealand first competed but chief executive Kevin Kenrick said Sky had outbid them for this year's event.

"We were keen to participate this time round but when you have someone that can buy the pay rights and free to air rights, they typically can pay more," Kenrick said.

"The only disappointment is they don't make it available to all New Zealanders."


Sky TV chief executive John Fellet said the event had been made available on its free-to-air channel Prime, with a 90-minute delay.

He said the owners of the broadcast rights had approached Sky after they didn't receive an acceptable bid from TVNZ or Mediaworks.

"Originally they [spoke to us] and we passed," Fellet said.

"And then they came back and said look we're just not going to get the money we need out of New Zealand, would you be willing to re-engage, which we did.

"So they came up with the price and we negotiated settlement.

"It was apparent that no other bid was acceptable to them. We initially stayed out of the bidding part of it and just said 'look if you're not happy, come back and see us', which apparently they did."

Kenrick said the reality was that Sky was able to pay more for the rights.

According to Fellet the cost of the broadcast rights was less than what TVNZ had paid for its Survivor series and what MediaWorks had paid for the recent Bachelor series although he wouldn't disclose the figure.

"I don't begrudge that, and I'm not taking a shot at them," Fellet said.

"They're allowed to do that and it's their call but we shouldn't have to be penalised that we put a higher value on sporting events than reality TV."

Fellet said Sky TV had not made a decision on whether it would try to secure rights for the next Cup series in New Zealand, saying a decision would be made when more was known about when and where the event would take place.

Kenrick said TVNZ would "absolutely proactively engage" to secure the rights when the time was right.

"I think the teams and many of the sponsors and supporters would like to maximise the number of New Zealanders that see the event," Kenrick said.

"Effectively Sky is available in just under half of New Zealand households."

"New Zealand is a bit of an outlier in that we have a pay TV monopoly that also owns a free-to-air business and we have no anti-siphoning legislation," he said.

As the host of the next America's Cup, Team New Zealand hold the broadcasting rights and it will be up to them to negotiate who will screen the event, and whether to opt for a bidding process or make an offer to one broadcaster.