Thy TV cup runneth over

Sorry, non-rugby fans. You will not be able to turn on a television over the next six weeks without there being a fair chance of a Rugby World Cup match appearing. Hayden Meikle looks at the vast, vast range of viewing options.

The subscription giant is the Rugby World Cup host broadcaster, so it is, essentially, in control.

All 48 games will screen live on Sky Sport 1 and the Rugby Channel.

There will also be too many replays and highlights packages to mention.

Sky's regular commentary team includes Grant Fox, Ian Smith, Tony Johnston and Grant Nisbett. Please, do not call them Foxy, Smithy, TJ and Nisbo. Expect the likes of Justin Marshall, Stu Wilson, Matthew Cooper, Richard Turner and, yes, even Murray Mexted to show up as well.

Sky is setting up a special World Cup studio at the Auckland viaduct.

Apart from game coverage, Sky will have its regular Re-Union show, World Cup Stories with Keith Quinn every Saturday, and Rugby Roast with John McBeth every Sunday.

The nightly The Crowd Goes Wild show will also morph into The Cup Goes Wild.

Has all 48 games (some live, some delayed) free-to-air. Sixteen of those games, including the four quarterfinals, both semifinals and the final, will be live.

Most of the commentary will be in English but there will be some Maori elements.

Maori TV has enlisted no fewer than 27 commentators, including Quinn, Buck Shelford, Gavin Hastings, Kees Meeuws and Mark Ella.

Showing the same games as Maori TV but with 100% Maori commentary.

Andrew Saville, Martin Devlin and Otago's own Jeff Wilson anchor the state broadcaster's World Cup coverage.

TV One has live coverage of the opening ceremony and All Blacks v Tonga in Auckland on Friday night, and live coverage of two quarterfinals, both semifinals, the third-fourth game and the final.

It also has a handful of delayed games, including the Argentina-England game from Dunedin's new stadium.

Finally, thanks to a multipronged and (possibly) unnecessarily extensive arrangement, TV3 also has its thumb in the World Cup pie.

Hamish McKay will be joined by Andrew Mehrtens and Richard Loe, with James Gemmell and Josh Kronfeld also involved.

TV3 will have live coverage of the All Blacks v France, two quarterfinals, both semifinals, the third-fourth game and the final. It will also have five delayed games.

The channel will also screen a nightly show called Cup Talk, as well as an online show called One Off The Ruck.


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