Sky TV has released a brief statement to the market following a report this morning that confirmed South Africa is considering a post-Sanzaar future.
The South African Rugby Union has voted to explore moving the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks, and Lions into an expanded Pro16 competition in Europe.
"Sky notes media reports today concerning the South African Rugby Union and Sanzaar", the statement says.
"While the implications of the South Africa Rugby Union decisions are yet to be fully discussed with New Zealand Rugby and its Sanzaar partners, Sky continues to have the right to broadcast all premium rugby content, including the likes of the upcoming Bledisloe Cup and The Rugby Championship matches, in New Zealand under the ongoing Sanzaar arrangements.
"In addition, Sky enjoys a separate partnership agreement with New Zealand Rugby which gives Sky exclusive rights to any non-Sanzaar matches and competitions played in this country until at least 2025."
Sky has not disclosed the cost of its latest Sanzaar deal, but the Herald understands it paid $400m for its latest five-year contract or a 20 per cent increase over its previous arrangement.
The deal was mostly in cash but also involved NZ Rugby receiving a 5 per cent stake in the pay-TV broadcaster, at the time worth $20m at the time with Sky's shares at 92c.
Sky shares were down 2.74 per cent to 14.2c soon after its statement.
The stock is down 77 per cent for the year.
Earlier today, NZ Rugby said it was not surprised by South Africa's plans to ditch Super Rugby.
NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said South Africa's position was no surprise.
"SARU has signalled for some time now they were looking at aligning with the Northern Hemisphere season," Robinson said in a statement. "All of the Sanzaar partners had agreed to look at more domestically related competitions in 2020 and 2021. During times like these change is inevitable and we need to be willing to adapt quickly.
"We were thrilled with how Super Rugby Aotearoa was received this year and are excited about what is shaping up for 2021."