New Zealand football fans wanting to watch two of the biggest leagues in the world will need to sign up to two different providers from next year.

Sky Sport announced today the company has secured the exclusive broadcasting rights for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for the next three years.

It comes a day after Spark revealed they have purchased the English Premier League rights for the next three years starting next season.

BeIN Sports has held the Premier League rights for the last three years, including the current season, which is available for all Sky subscribers.

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The announcement today means Kiwi fans of top English teams, the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, would need to buy subscriptions to both Sky and Spark to watch their favourite side playing both domestic and European football.

Fans face a similar situation to when Colosseum Sports owned the Premier League rights for two seasons beginning in 2013. Subscribers watched games through an online app called Premier League Pass while Sky had the rights to the Champions League.

From this season Sky will expand their coverage of the Champions League and broadcast 138 matches - at least doubling the fixtures compared to the 2017/18 season.

Spark has also snapped up the rights to Manchester United TV, a channel owned an operated by the illustrious football club.

Premier League and MUTV will be offered on a subscription basis over Spark's sport platform, which will launch by early 2019.

The New Zealand English Premier League rights for 2016-2019 were secured by beIN sports, a subsidiary of the Al Jazeera network.

However, beIN Sports' main focus was setting up an Asia-Pacific Premier League hub, with New Zealand just a small link in the coverage to the region. But beIN failed to secure some big markets, including Australia, and ended up coming to an agreement with Sky to use their platform. This development, in turn, means that Sky will lose its hold on another important piece of sports content come 2019.

More to come...

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