Spark joins Sky in showing NFL in New Zealand
Spark Sport, the New Zealand sports streaming service, has signed a direct streaming deal with the NFL to show the top American football league in the country.
Spark will offer live coverage of the remainder of the 2019 regular season, plus the playoffs, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl at the start of next year. Other content such as NFL-based features and highlights is included in the deal.
Rival Sky New Zealand, the pay-television operator, already has rights to the NFL through its deal with ESPN, the international sports broadcaster.
Both Spark and Sky will broadcast the playoffs and Super Bowl, but offer different regular-season games, with Spark showing two live games each Sunday afternoon (Monday morning in New Zealand) and one on a delayed basis.
A Spark subscription offering access to multiple leagues and competitions available on the platform costs NZ$19.99 ($13.23) per month.
In October, Spark secured exclusive rights to all international cricket played in New Zealand from 2020 to 2026, and the streaming provider also showed the recent Rugby World Cup from Japan. Both of these properties had previously belonged to Sky.
Spark also holds rights to Formula 1 motor racing and English soccer’s Premier League.
However, Sky has struck back by securing a new contract to show all games played by New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, from 2021 to 2025.
Jeff Latch, head of Spark Sport, said: “The NFL is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, and streaming coverage of Super Bowl LIII set viewership records with 7.5 million unique devices streaming the game.
“For Spark Sport to be able to add to that figure in the coming year is brilliant and will show how more and more people are shifting to streaming sports.”
Meanwhile, Sky has retained rights women's golf's LPGA Tour in a deal running from 2020 to 2024.
The broadcaster will offer around 32 events per year from the USA-based tour, including live coverage and highlights.
The coverage will be available on Sky Sports TV channels and streaming service Sky Sport Now, will selected free-to-air content on the network's Prime channel.
The LPGA Tour has been shown on Sky since 2016, having previously been on OTT service Coliseum..