Spark has added NBA basketball, WRC and Liverpool TV content to the expanding line-up for its Spark Sport app, launching on an unknown date next year.

But it's still not clear when the app will launch.

Spark Sport will include six to seven NBA games a week, plus highlights from other games and documentaries.

The 2018/2019 NBA season is already underway. Spark head of sport Jeff Latch says the Spark Sport app will go live before the end of the season.


Sky counters that it will still offer more NBA action, however, A spokesman says, "This deal will not have an impact on our deal or coverage. To give you an example of NBA games live on Sky via ESPN in December we have 33 LIVE games, in January we will broadcast 36 live games."

Spark says some of its NBA games will be live and some delayed; it can't say the exact mix at this point.

The telco has also secured the media rights for the FIA World Rally Championship, which starts on January 24. The 2019 calendar covers 14 rallies across five continents.

Liverpool TV rights will provide Spark Sport with live coverage and highlights of U23 & U18 games, full replays of every first-team match in every competition including Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

Spark also released more details of how its Spark Sport could be accessed.

How to watch

From launch, it will be available web browsers, Apple iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, Google Chromecast and selected Samsung TVs, the telco said.

Over the first six months after launch, Spark Sport will gradually expand to become available on a range of content platforms including Apple TV, Panasonic, LG and Sony Smart TVs and more.

Freeview's new internet-only puck is noticeably absent from the list, but Spark said earlier it was too early to say if Spark Sport would be on Freeview's new SmartVu.


Vodafone TV is also absent, but new CEO Jason Paris says he's keen to join the Spark Sport party and feature the app. Early-stage talks are in progress, in something of a black-eye for Sky.

Expanding lineup

Last week, Spark revealed it had poached Sky TV's Scotty Stevenson to front its Rugby World Cup 2019 coverage.

Beyond the WRC, the telco has also secured rights to Formula 1 for three years from the 2019 season, English Premier League football for three years from July next year and the FIH (International Hockey Federation) series.

Spark recently said it had struck a partnership with NEP, the world's largest outside-broadcast production company, which overseas coverage of multiple A-list sports across the Tasman.

The deal is to cover FIH games staged in NZ, but also gives the telco the wherewithal to cover other A-list sports, and potentially bid for rights to local All Blacks games and Super Rugby.

Meanwhile, Sky TV has has announced that it will make all of its channels and Sky Go free for two weeks from Chrismas Eve for any user with at least a Starter subscription.