Significant change is coming in New Zealand's rugby rights broadcast market when a new deal begins in 2020.
There will be new broadcast players, new ways of consuming games, new markets to sell into and, as will be revealed in a few weeks when Sanzaar announces its strategic long-term vision for Southern Hemisphere rugby, potentially new competition formats. There will also be a new season structure, with the June test window shifting to July.
Rugby maybe hasn't known such a world of opportunity since 1995 and the switch to professionalism. Top of the list to come out well is the rugby consumer.
Sky, which has exclusively owned the rights to the All Blacks since 1996, is paying an estimated $70 million a year and as such has been largely allowed to dictate terms.
A significant amount of revenue also comes from having sold the rights to the UK, so the evening kick-offs are designed as much to harness an audience there as in New Zealand.
Playing at 7.30pm in the depth of the South Island winter has made going to the game a trial in endurance and if there is one change looming that will be universally welcomed, it is the potential return to occasional afternoon kickoffs post 2019.
The balance may change and for the first time in the past 20 years, the fam experience will be given more thought and attention.
And what is expected to drive this change is a fragmentation of the broadcast rights; a proliferation of choice, not so much in the breadth of different broadcasters with rights, but in the probable array of packages.
For now, Sky own the rights to everything in New Zealand. In the next deal, New Zealand Rugby may look to sell in bundles.
There will be rights for TV and rights for digital and perhaps they will be sold to separate bidders or perhaps one company will put enough on the table to buy the lot.
Consumers will be able to buy a streaming package for one-off tests or a series, or still commit to a monthly subscription with a TV broadcaster, most likely Sky. And that remains the unknown about the next deal: will Sky be willing to dig deep and pay to buy everything as they previously have or will they stick to the TV rights and allow a new player to take control of the digital market?
"In every sales process, we have looked to compartmentalise, to sell parcels of our content," says NZR chief executive Steve Tew.
"But in the end, the key broadcasters have said 'here is the price for all of it', so we have tended to keep them as a whole package. That might change in the future."
If that is the case, there will be unprecedented choice and flexibility and moving into the personalised media age could mean NZR won't be so beholden to one broadcaster trying to maximise their audience.
So unquestionably fans are looking at a more appealing future, as is NZR because the bidding process is going to be genuinely competitive for the first time since 1995.
Amazon are hovering as a genuine bidder, as are Spark in conjunction with TVNZ and presumably Google, Netflix and Facebook will at least give consideration to bidding.
"In terms of the evolution of the game and the way we are able to connect with our fans, we are in rapidly changing times," says Tew.
"People are consuming content differently already, so what 2020 signals for us is another cycle of our content sales process, so that is going to be clearly informed by the rapidly evolving technology and the appetite people have for content.
"Every market is a little bit different but we have a premium product, and then within that, we have one of the premium teams [All Blacks], so that is a huge advantage for us.
"The documentary that will come out next year, that Amazon are now carefully crafting, will take the All Blacks story to a whole load of markets we have never been before.
"And, yes, we will be able to take live games of rugby and archival footage to all sorts of markets because of the advent of technology."
Tew isn't getting carried away, however. He feels that while the ability to stream games in far flung corners of the globe on hand-held devices will be there, that doesn't mean the All Blacks will be raking it in come the next broadcast deal.
"Just because the content is easier to get doesn't mean fans in new markets will say they are going to have it. We still have to sell them the story of the All Blacks and New Zealand, and turn fans into consumers. That is still part of the process. The technology, though, is going to be a great enabler."
As a sign of things to come perhaps, NZR reached agreement with Sky on this tour of Europe to live stream the games against the Barbarians and French XV.
The uptake is believed to have been low, largely because one game was played in the middle of the night in New Zealand and the other early on a Wednesday morning. The pricing of $25 per game may also have been prohibitive. However, the point of the exercise, though, was not to assess demand but to see whether the technology worked.
On that front, they delivered, but it is hard to assess NZR's confidence that if post 2019, there are significant numbers of New Zealanders looking to stream All Blacks tests, there is the broadband capacity to cope.
The All Blacks remain the people's team and there is an acknowledgement that free-to-air broadcasting plays a significant role in bolstering the profile of rugby and inspiring young people to play the game.
Australia have maybe learned that the hard way, and there could well be a link between the demise of the game across the Tasman and their long-term lack of free-to-air coverage of Super Rugby.
The prospect of a Spark/TVNZ joint bid will carry appeal beyond the dollars attached to it.
Negotiations for the next broadcast rights are due to start some time next year and if Tew seems fairly relaxed, it is because he knows the future has never looked so bright.