Report: Sky pockets New Zealand’s Champions League rights

Deal means fans must sign up to different providers to watch top soccer competitions.

Report: Sky pockets New Zealand’s Champions League rights

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Pay-TV broadcaster Sky has picked up the exclusive rights in New Zealand to the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League, according to The New Zealand Herald daily newspaper.

The three-year tie-up will see Sky expand its coverage of the top-tier Champions League to 138 matches per season, which represents double the number of games shown in 2017/18.

If confirmed, the deal means that soccer fans in New Zealand will need to sign up to two different providers if they want to watch European club soccer’s top two knockout tournaments and the Premier League, the top tier of the sport in England.

Telecommunications giant Spark announced on Tuesday that it had secured the rights in New Zealand to the Premier League for three years from next season. The competition is currently show by BeIN Sports, which is also available for all Sky subscribers in New Zealand.

Spark also acquired exclusive rights to content from MUTV, Manchester United’s in-house television channel, from later this year.

Spark’s recent push into the rights market has come ahead of the launch of the company’s new sports streaming platform, which it plans to roll out next year for its coverage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.