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No live free to air sport for Kiwi fans

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/04/2017

It is said it cost about $1000 a year to watch live All Black tests and other major sporting events on Sky Sport. © AP Images It is said it cost about $1000 a year to watch live All Black tests and other major sporting events on Sky Sport. Sports fans aren't going to be able to watch major sports events live on free to air television, despite the best efforts of NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell.

His member's bill to amend the Broadcasting Act was defeated by 95 votes to 26 in parliament on Wednesday.

During previous debates on the bill Mr Mitchell said it cost about $1000 a year to watch live All Black tests and other major sporting events on Sky Sport, and many people couldn't afford it.

"This is about putting the rights of Kiwis above those of multi-nationals - how can any party in its right mind say that isn't good for New Zealand," he said.

Mr Mitchell says there's overwhelming public support for his bill and a recent poll showed 84 per cent in favour of it.

Government MPs described the bill as "populist pandering".

"Nothing is free, someone has to pay for it," said Brett Hudson.

"Are we going to dig into taxpayers' money?"

Labour's Trevor Mallard said $125 million a year would be taken away from sport that came from broadcasting rights.

NZ First and the Greens supported the bill.

National, Labour, the Maori Party, ACT and United Future opposed it.

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