16 Apr 2019

Spark to broadcast more Rugby World Cup games

6:36 am on 16 April 2019

Telecommunications company Spark will broadcast more Rugby World Cup matches on free-to-air television so All Black fans can see their men in action.

The All Blacks changed up their haka for their Test against Italy with captain Kieran Read leading the way.

The telco said 12 of the 48 World Cup matches would be available on TVNZ. Photo: Photosport

Spark and TVNZ have partnered to broadcast this September's event in Japan on television, cell phones, tablet devices and laptops.

The telco said 12 of the 48 matches would be available on TVNZ - seven of those live and five with a one-hour delay.

That's up from an earlier announcement of nine, so that households especially in remote areas with patchy internet can watch All Blacks' games.

It said all matches would be available on its streaming Spark Sport service, which would cost from $59.99 for those who get in early, to $89.99 if purchased close to the tournament date.

That compared with a minimum cost of about $139.93 last tournament on Sky Network Television.

Spark head of sport Jeff Latch said if its service failed, it had an agreement with TVNZ to broadcast live matches on the DUKE channel.

"While we're absolutely not expecting any issues with our platform, we want New Zealanders to have confidence that we've thought through all eventualities," he said.

Mr Latch was confident viewers would not be switched off by the idea of streaming sport.

"There are roughly a million households in New Zealand that are currently streaming video content every week.

"And so, a large proportion of New Zealand are already incredibly familiar and used to actually streaming content so this is not going to be a big surprise to them whatsoever," he said.

    Rugby World Cup matches on TVNZ 1 and streamed on Spark Sport free:

  • Japan v Russia LIVE / Friday 20 September / Pool A, Match 1 (opening match)
  • NZ v South Africa 1hr delay / Saturday 21 September / Pool B, Match 4
  • Fiji v Uruguay 2hr delay / Wednesday 25 September / Pool D, Match 10 (streamed only)
  • Tonga v Argentina LIVE / Saturday 28 September / Pool C, Match 13
  • Scotland v Samoa 2hr delay / Monday 30 September / Pool A, Match 18 (streamed only)
  • NZ v Canada 1hr delay / Wednesday 2 October / Pool B, Match 20
  • South Africa v Italy LIVE/ Friday 4 October / Pool B, Match 23
  • NZ v Namibia 1hr delay / Sunday 6 October / Pool B, Match 27
  • Fiji v Wales LIVE / Wednesday 9 October / Pool D, Match 32
  • NZ v Italy 1hr delay / Sunday 12 October / Pool B, Match 34
  • NZ quarter final 1hr delay TBC, assuming the team progress past the pool stage /
  • Semi-finals, Match 45 LIVE / Saturday 26 October
  • Semi-finals, Match 46 LIVE / Sunday 27 October
  • Final, Match 48 and medal ceremony LIVE / Saturday 2 November

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