Sky Television confirmed today that it has bought TVNZ's broadcast rights for this year's Commonwealth Games in India and will screen 12 hours each day live on its free-to-air channel.

The Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi, begin on October 3.

Sky said that during the 12 days of competition, its free-to-air channel Prime would broadcast 12 hours each day of live Games coverage, together with a daily highlights package.

It would also dedicate five 24-hour channels, or more than 1400 hours of television coverage, to the games. There would also be highlights packages on various channels and extensive internet and mobile phone coverage.

Chief executive John Fellet said the combination of free-to-air and pay television coverage would provide New Zealanders with "more extensive and comprehensive coverage than they have ever seen before".

Last year TVNZ, which had the rights to broadcast the Commonwealth Games, said it had been looking to off-load broadcast rights to Sky after it faced an estimated loss of $5 million covering the games.

- NZPA