Australia's protracted broadcast negotiations present another worrying reminder of New Zealand's reliance on their rugby neighbour, and the dark clouds gathering over the South Hemisphere's professional game.
Four months on from NZ Rugby renewing their five-year partnership with Sky Television, Rugby Australia are yet to lock down their next broadcast deal.
Reports from Australia yesterday suggest Fox Sports, who has underpinned the Australian professional game for the past 25 years, are ready to walk away from negotiations, leaving the national body scrambling to package their grassroots-to-professional-game and sell this to free-to-air and rival subscription networks.
New Zealand Rugby executives will be watching nervously, knowing whatever deal Rugby Australia eventually strikes will feed into the Sanzaar alliance, and greatly affect the overall bottom line.
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RA boss Raelene Castle may yet pull a rabbit from the broadcast hat but, longer term, Australia's volatile rugby scene remains of great concern to New Zealand.
Many insiders believe in the not-too-distant future South Africa will break from Sanzaar and venture north to capitalise on the more friendly time zone and hugely attractive private investment being plunged into Northern Hemisphere rugby through CVC Capital Partners.
Such a move would leave New Zealand at Australia's mercy, contemplating some form of trans-Tasman league with a country where rugby is struggling to connect with the sporting public and, therefore, fast dwindling in value.
New Zealand rugby's geographical isolation and economy-to-scale realities always left it at risk to sustainability concerns.
Through coaching innovation and a golden commercial period, the All Blacks stayed largely ahead of the curve but these fears are now becoming increasingly apparent.
No doubt, too, the vast spread of elite New Zealand coaches and intellectual property they command has contributed to the All Blacks' regression to the pack.
From a pure revenue perspective, the failure of the Six Nations powers to look beyond protectionism and see value in the proposed Nations Championship concept last year was another kick in the guts for southern nations, New Zealand and Australia in particular.
New Zealand Rugby is also yet to replace major global sponsor AIG's significant investment - thought to be around $80 million.
This year's Super Rugby competition is again proof New Zealand will always produce supreme talent but depth is being constantly eroded.
Retaining prospects between World Cup cycles, let alone straight after global tournaments when mass exoduses occur, is harder than ever.
It doesn't take long now – some while in their teens – before emerging talent land contract offers that can double or triple their earnings abroad.
With the inherent dangers in the modern game now evident and players more aware their bodies are business entities, the next generation is less patient or willing to wait for openings at test level.
They also have far more options.
Japan's threat is only trending in one direction with the imminent launch of their new league that promises to hover up more and more elite All Blacks on exorbitant salaries.
The aforementioned private investment in England's Premiership Rugby and the Pro14 will continue their annual recruitment drives, and the French Top 14's love affair with New Zealanders will never abate.
Then there's America. Major League Rugby enters its third season this week some way off being labelled a haven but it is the latest avenue.
This year the now 12 team competition will harness Rene Ranger, Ma'a Nonu, Beaudein Waaka, Frank Halai, Chris Eves, Sam Beard, World Cup-winning South African prop Tendai Mtawarira and French midfielder Mathieu Bastareaud among others.
Next season former England captain Chris Robshaw will join New York's Rugby United, the club now part owned by former Blues investor Murray Bolton. Liam Messam has also expressed interest in playing there.
The upshot is yet another attractive destination for the full spectrum of players, both from a financial and lifestyle perspective.
These competing global interests leave the New Zealand professional game on a knife-edge before even considering domestic challenges.
All Blacks rest protocols and sabbatical arrangements - the like Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick are enjoying and Beauden Barrett has built into his contract - compromise the quality of talent on display each week and create a natural antagonism for those attempting to navigate Super Rugby.
These complexities undoubtedly contribute to the simmering discontent between Super Rugby franchises, who face dwindling gate revenue and a lack of control, and the national body.
The general mood of New Zealand's rugby followers these days largely swings on All Blacks results.
The All Blacks win, everything is dandy. The All Blacks lose, the walls are caving in.
Clearly, there's much more to it than that.
The rise of digital technology, the youth swing towards American sports and apathy bred by repeated competition changes all play their part in changing attitudes towards rugby and decreasing playing numbers among males.
New Zealand Rugby is aware of these major challenges and the fast-shifting landscape which is why they are embarking on a review that will shape the future of the game.
But you don't need to be Einstein to work out there are no quick-fix solutions in the current climate.
Brace yourself, NZ rugby's long-term future will be as fraught as Australia's broadcast negotiations.