Rugby fans are still in danger of missing out on seeing the
All Blacks play Italy next weekend, which would be the first
time in the professional era an All Blacks match hasn't been
screened live on television.
Sky TV are still locked in negotiations with an international
brokerage company negotiating on behalf of the Italy Rugby
Union to get the rights to broadcast the match.
They remain hopeful of reaching a deal, not least of all
because of the public fallout if Sky didn't show an All
Blacks match live.
Sky TV today released their broadcast schedule for the rest
of the year, and the All Blacks' match with Italy at the
Olympic Stadium in Rome is conspicuous by its absence.
Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way said the fee, which Sky base on
potential viewership the match brings, was the stumbling
"It's certainly fair value for the match," Way said. "We are
passionate about sport, love the All Blacks and we know our
viewers do, too, so we really hope we can bring it to them.
"We don't have the rights secured at the moment but we're
still trying. We sincerely hope it happens. It's not a
"We would have preferred to have this signed off a month or
so ago, and we had the other matches [on tour] a long time
ago, but it's not uncommon to do something in the last week
or days. We've even done deals on the day of the match as
well. We will be trying right up to kick-off to bring the
match to our customers."
Way said the last time the broadcast of an All Blacks match
was threatened was during the 2001 end-of-year tour, when
Telstra Clear acquired the rights but got into difficulty and
ended up selling the rights to Sky. She couldn't recall an
instance when Sky didn't show an All Blacks match live in the
Sky are showing only two of the New Zealand Maori's three
games on their upcoming northern tour.
The match against Canada at Oxford University on November 23
is not being broadcast by anyone, and the terms of the
opening match against Leicester on November 13 means Sky
can't show it until 48 hours later.
Sky announced today they would broadcast live the All Whites'
international against China in Shanghai on November 15
- Michael Brown of APNZ