Sky TV says it paid "in excess of $200 million" to secure satellite capacity for the next 10 years through Optus.

Under the deal, Optus will provide SKY with satellite capacity to 2031. The current contract expires in 2021.

The satellite spend-up is guaranteed to draw snarks on social media at a time when more and more people are streaming video via the internet.

But Sky chief financial officer Jason Hollingworth says only satellite coverage can guarantee content, "particularly live sport, can be reliably delivered to 100 per cent of New Zealand."


Many will see that as a backhand dig at Spark, which will attempt to stream the 2019 Rugby World Cup and a raft of other sports events over the internet next year (though will also have free-to-air partner TVNZ as a backup).

Sky emphasises that although it is splashing out to extend its satellite deal, it is also investing in new delivery technologies, and bandwidth-hungry features like 4K and HDR quality video.

An Android-powered "puck" will be released in the New Year that will enable Sky subscribers to receive all live channels (as well as apps and on-demand content) via a broadband connection. Later in 2019, a fibre-friendly, app-only service is planned.

"The hybrid delivery of SKY's content via the satellite and internet is a key competitive advantage, particularly for sport," Hollingworth says.