Sky TV is under fire for making an unsavoury comment about Christchurch during the Crusaders' Super Rugby clash with the Sunwolves.

Under the Sky Sport electronic programme guide description, viewers were able to read the "tasteless" message - which suggested it's hard to have a good time in Christchurch.

The broadcaster has now apologised for the remark.

The description read: "SKY Sport brings you LIVE coverage of the 2018 Super Rugby Season. A trip to Christchurch is never anyone's idea of a good time, especially if you play for the Sunwolves and are facing the Crusaders at AMI Stadium."

Advertisement
Sky Sport has come under fire for taking a stab at Christchurch during the Crusaders Super RUgby clash with the Sunwolves.
Sky Sport has come under fire for taking a stab at Christchurch during the Crusaders Super RUgby clash with the Sunwolves.

People took to social media to vent their anger over Sky Sport's gaffe, with many believing the stab at Christchurch is untimely with the city still repairing from the 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people.

Other suggested the comment was in poor taste given fans' frustration over the delay of a decision to build a new stadium.

"Given what Christchurch has gone through in recent years, and the fact that Crusaders coach Scott Robertson came out saying they need a new stadium seven years after the earthquake stuffed Lancaster Park, this is pretty poor taste," one person wrote on social media.

Another passionate rugby fan said: "I get what they (Sky Sport) are trying to do. But right now Christchurch needs support. We want to attract people to the city, not put them off coming.

"Dunedin thrived following their new stadium, and Christchurch can too but it would be nice to have backing of New Zealand's biggest sports viewing platform, especially since the Crusaders are one of the best performing and marketable Super Rugby franchises."

Others defended Sky Sport's description with some saying people need to learn to take a joke.

"Classic. I'm from Hamilton, people make fun of us all the time. It's fun. Why do people get rubbed the wrong way when someone makes fun of their city?" one Hamiltonian said.

"Gold from Sky. Gonna resubscribe just for the banter," another wrote.

Sky Sport has since backtracked over the description, apologising for any offence caused.

In the statement to the Herald, a Sky Sport spokesperson said their attempt at humour didn't "hit the mark".

"We apologise to anyone who was offended by the description of the Crusaders, Sunwolves game last Saturday.

"We value our Christchurch rugby fans, many of our SKY commentators and production crew are Cantabs, and we are very proud of the fact we donated $1,000,000 to the Christchurch earthquake fund over five years.

"While an attempt at humour was made here, we accept that it didn't hit the mark.

"We'll work to ensure that this type of thing doesn't happen again."

Frustration over stadium delays

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is pleading with the Christchurch City Council to make a decision on a new stadium in Christchurch. Photo / Getty
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is pleading with the Christchurch City Council to make a decision on a new stadium in Christchurch. Photo / Getty

After the Crusaders beat the Sunwolves 33-11 in their Super Rugby fixture on Saturday, coach Scott Robertson spoke voiced his concern, not with his side but with the Christchurch City Council.

On a night where the rain, hail and thunder pelted down on loyal Crusaders fans, Robertson pleaded with the Council to build a new covered, multi-use stadium.

He asked why the city was still waiting for a new venue seven years after the earthquakes stuffed Lancaster Park, and pressured politicians and bureaucrats to make it happen.

"We've got a chance to do something special. It's too good a chance, and the decision doesn't have to be [centred on] now on the money. The money will take care of itself over a long period of time," Robertson told NZME.

"It has got to be someone that shows true leadership, like they did in Dunedin," A lot of people (in Dunedin) said, 'potentially do we need it?' They needed it, and we need it."

It is understood the estimated cost of the planned 35,000-seat facility is $496m – or more than $14,000 a seat.

The proposed stadium would hold 20 rugby games a year, and could be used a multi-use arena for a range of events.

It is not known when a decision on a new stadium will be made, but what is clear is the Crusaders will have to keep playing under an uncovered 18,000 seat stadium for now.