Sky New Zealand retains Rugby World Cup rights

Pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand has secured broadcast rights for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Under the deal with the national team tournament’s owner, Rugby World Cup Limited, all 48 matches from this year’s competition will be shown by Sky Sport in New Zealand as the country’s All Blacks defend their title in England.

New Zealand’s matches will air on Sky’s free-to-air channel Prime, with the remaining matches available to subscribers only. Prime will also offer highlights from each day of the tournament.

Sky was the host broadcaster when New Zealand won the World Cup on home soil four years ago and is set to announce a comprehensive digital and mobile offering to support its coverage this time around.

Rugby World Cup Limited chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The appointment of a market-leader who shares our passion for rugby and the Rugby World Cup is great news for the tournament and fans.

“This extension with a highly-valued broadcast partner underscores our commitment to ensuring fan experience is at the heart of a Rugby World Cup that promises to be the most viewed, most engaged and best-connected tournament to date.”

The Rugby World Cup starts on September 18, with New Zealand beginning its bid for a place in the October 31 final in a pool stage where it has been drawn to face Argentina, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia.