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Sky NZ agrees long-term Red Bull TV content deal

Pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand has diversified its sports output by agreeing a multi-year content deal with Red Bull TV.

The majority of Red Bull TV content will be broadcast on the Sky Sport 8 channel with selected events on Sky Sport 5. All content will be available on demand via streaming service Sky Sport Now and Sky Go.

The events and programming to be shown under the deal include, among others, Red Bull X-Fighters, Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Red Bull Ice Cross World Championship, Drift Masters, World Enduro Super Series, Red Bull King of the Air, Crankworx, Red Bull Rampage and Red Bull Soapbox.

Sky’s coverage will commence with mountain bike series Crankworx from today (Thursday) until Sunday.

The programming forms part of the premium Red Bull Content Pool sold by Red Bull Media House and is a mixture of live events and back-catalogue content.

Tex Teixeira, Sky’s chief content officer, said: “While rugby league, netball and basketball is all on the roster, and long may they be, there’s staggering growth in adventure sports and we’re absolutely here for that. We’re very excited about the partnership with Red Bull TV and what we can deliver to bikers, skaters, divers and drivers, the length and breadth of NZ.”

Sky last month reported a 78-per-cent fall in half-year profit, but hailed a growth in subscriptions to its streaming services amid its sports-focused media-rights and sponsorship drive.

Sky’s net profit after tax for the six-month period to December 2019 was NZ$11.9m (€7m/$7.7m), while its operating costs, excluding depreciation, increased by seven per cent to NZ$295.1m.

The total number of Sky subscribers increased to 795,000, with the broadcaster posting a 74-per-cent uplift in streaming customer numbers. The number of streaming subscribers rose from 113,000 in the first half of 2019 to 196,000 as they increased at a faster rate than the number of satellite subscribers fell.