Key Points:

Peace has broken out in the television war between Sky, TVNZ and TV3.

It is understood the three broadcasters are jointly negotiating with the International Rugby Board agent IMG to share screening rights to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

If they succeed, Kiwi rugby fans would get more free coverage and on all channels.

The expectation is that rather than one of the broadcasters getting exclusive rights, each would be able to show some of the games.

Sky and TV3 confirmed they were negotiating over the rights but would not comment on the joint approach.

TVNZ and TV3 complain that Sky - whose free Prime TV signal cannot be received clearly in some parts of the country - is so big and unregulated it has an advantage in big-event sports negotiations.

By owning the rights, Sky could also keep the World Cup off the new digital free-to-air rival Freeview.

Sky has the financial might to outbid TVNZ and TV3. But if it did so, it would reinforce TVNZ and TV3 complaints about its dominance.

The Government has started its review of broadcasting rules, and that will look at calls for controls on Sky.

TVNZ and TV3 say Sky TV and Prime TV have become so big they are shutting their rivals out of big events such as the World Cup.

TV3 had rights to last year's World Cup in France, and says it did not lose money.

Sky and Prime outbid the free-to-air channels for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and the London Olympics in 2012.

But faced with the Government review of its market dominance, it has opted to share the Rugby World Cup.