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SBD Global/February 27, 2013/Media

Sky TV Close To Agreeing On New Zealand Screening Deal With NRL

Sky TV "appears close to clinching a deal" that would see it retain the rights to broadcast National Rugby League matches in New Zealand, according to Steve Deane of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. Having agreed to a one-year deal this time last year to cover the '12 season, Sky and the NRL "have been in negotiations for several months over a long-term deal" that will run concurrently with the five-year, A$1M ($1.02M) broadcast rights deal inked by Fox and Channel Nine in Australia. With the NRL season due to kick off in just eight days, "the clock is ticking." While both parties "could conceivably go beyond that date -- with Sky broadcasting matches on a 'good faith' basis -- there are signs a deal is close." The unconfirmed recruitment of Australian veteran Andrew Voss as a lead commentator for Warriors matches is another signal Sky "is confident it will secure a product that is a major subscriber driver." A Sky spokesperson said that the network "could not comment on the commentary situation, or any league matters, until a broadcast deal was signed" (NZ HERALD, 2/27)
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