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New Zealand rugby league chief confident of late rights deal for Australia game

Phil Holden, the chief executive of the New Zealand Rugby League, has said that the governing body of rugby league in the country is still in talks over a late deal to sell domestic rights for the upcoming Australia v New Zealand national team game to free-to-air broadcaster Māori Television and pay-television broadcaster Sky NZ, according to the Fairfax news agency.

Holden denied reports in the Sunday Star-Times newspaper that talks between the governing body and Sky had broken down over the April 19 game and said he was confident of securing broadcast coverage in New Zealand.

“I am confident that we’re working through this and even as late as Friday night there was still communication between the three parties,” Holden said. “I am not perturbed at all.”

Sky spokesperson Kirsty Way added: “We don’t have the rights, but we’re in discussions to get them and they are ongoing at the moment. It is certainly not our desire to have this go down to the wire, but sometimes they do.”