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Spark to broadcast more Rugby World Cup games

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 15/04/2019

Richie McCaw of New Zealand lifts the Webb Ellis Cup following victory in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom © David Rogers/Getty Images Richie McCaw of New Zealand lifts the Webb Ellis Cup following victory in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, United Kingdom Telecommunications company Spark will broadcast more Rugby World Cup matches on free-to-air television so All Black fans can see their men in action.

Spark and TVNZ have partnered to broadcast this September's event in Japan on television, cell phones, tablet devices and laptops.

The telco said 12 of the 48 matches would be available on TVNZ - seven of those live and five with a one-hour delay.

That's up from an earlier announcement of nine, so that households especially in remote areas with patchy internet can watch All Blacks' games.

It said all matches would be available on its streaming Spark Sport service, which would cost from $59.99 for those who get in early, to $89.99 if purchased close to the tournament date.

That compared with a minimum cost of about $139.93 last tournament on Sky Network Television.

Spark head of sport Jeff Latch said if its service failed, it had an agreement with TVNZ to broadcast live matches on the DUKE channel.

"While we're absolutely not expecting any issues with our platform, we want New Zealanders to have confidence that we've thought through all eventualities," he said.

Mr Latch was confident viewers would not be switched off by the idea of streaming sport.

"There are roughly a million households in New Zealand that are currently streaming video content every week.

"And so, a large proportion of New Zealand are already incredibly familiar and used to actually streaming content so this is not going to be a big surprise to them whatsoever," he said.


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