Rugby fans can breathe easy - the All Blacks' test against
Italy next weekend will be shown live after all.
After being locked in negotiations to secure the broadcasting
rights to the match, Sky TV today confirmed the match would
indeed be screened live on Sky Sport 1.
Earlier this week, Sky released its broadcast schedule for
the rest of the year and the All Blacks' match with Italy at
the Olympic Stadium in Rome was conspicuous by its absence.
Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way said the fee, which Sky bases on
potential viewership the match brings, was the stumbling
point. But that has evidently been overcome to avoid the
ignominy of having an All Blacks match go uncovered for the
first time in the professional era.
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.