TVNZ pays NZD$3 million for America’s Cup rights

Prestigious yacht race returns to free-to-air television in host country.

TVNZ pays NZD$3 million for America’s Cup rights

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TVNZ has won the rights in New Zealand to the 36th edition of the America’s Cup yacht race, hosted by Auckland in 2021.

According to the Stuff news website, the free-to-air broadcaster has paid close to NZD$3 million (US$2.1 million) to cover Emirates Team New Zealand’s defence of the Auld Mug.

Stuff added that TVNZ held off stiff competition from TV3, another free-to-air channel, in a bidding process which significantly ramped up the cost of the rights package.

As part of the deal, NZME will provide exclusive radio commentary of the event through Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport. Meanwhile, Team New Zealand will retain digital rights and stream races live on their own online platforms.

The rights for Team New Zealand’s successful America’s Cup challenge in 2017 were held by pay-TV broadcaster Sky, but the hosts of the 2021 edition said they were keen to have their defence shown on free-to-air.

"It has been a fundamental principle of Emirates Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record that the America's Cup be accessible to as many Kiwis as possible since we won the trophy back almost one year ago," said Grant Dalton, chief executive of Team New Zealand.

"TVNZ have committed to provide coverage of this America’s Cup like no other, so we are delighted that the America's Cup match and all preceding events will be broadcast live and free-to-air for all New Zealanders to watch and be part of."

TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kendrick added: “We're going to push the boat out to make our coverage accessible to the biggest audiences so everyone feels part of the action.”