Sky New Zealand has launched a new service that will allow customers to watch premium sports rights online without signing up to its broadcast pay-television offering.
The Stuff.co.nz website said the service will launch for the 2015 season of the Super Rugby club rugby union competition, which commences on February 13 and features teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
A season pass to Super Rugby games will cost NZ$299 (€192/$221), with a monthly online pass available for NZ$69 or a weekly one for NZ$29. The passes are being sold through a website separate to Sky’s main site, fanpass.co.nz.
Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way said rugby league competition the NRL and motor racing series Formula One will also be offered online and some other sports will follow. Season passes for NRL games and F1 races are also priced at NZ$299, with monthly passes costing NZ$59 and NZ$49 respectively and weekly ones NZ$19.90 and NZ$24.90.
By comparison, a pay-television subscription with Sky Sports, My Sky HDI decoder and an ‘HD ticket’ costs NZ$99.74 a month.
Way said: “We are running a business. Sky Sports is the main place to get sports but the public have said they are keen for other options. The whole business model falls over if you start undercutting your prime service. This is a sustainable way we can offer these very premium sports rights so customers can get those alone. It won't suit everybody.”