Sky NZ loses Premier League rights to ‘internet start-up’

Pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand has been outbid for rights to the English Premier League, the top division of football in England, by a new company, according to the APNZ news agency.

The MP & Silva agency, which has been negotiating the sale of the rights in New Zealand for the three seasons from 2013-14 to 2015-16, struck a deal with “an internet start up called colesseum,” according to online platform Sommet Sports, which denied that it had acquired the rights. Sommet said that it had come “second in the bidding for the rights.”

Sky said: “We are also led to believe that they will be offering the games as an online package but until the winning bidder announces their plans for the rights we have no greater knowledge than you as to what those plans may be… We are extremely disappointed to have missed out and seek to assure our football loving subscribers that this does not signal a change in our wishes to secure the best football matches that we can… (and) over the coming weeks we expect to announce more new football coverage.”

Sky spokesperson Kirsty Way told APNZ: “We put in a very high bid, our highest bid for it.”

The news agency said that the new company would also show live coverage of French football’s top-tier Ligue 1.