SUNBIZ

Continuing Holdup With Super Rugby Commercial Rights

With a little over a week before the 2016 Super Rugby kicks off, Fiji Television Limited has confirmed that it has not yet received the broadcast rights for the tournament.
17 Feb 2016 12:27
Continuing Holdup With Super Rugby Commercial Rights
Super Rugby

With a little over a week before the 2016 Super Rugby kicks off, Fiji Television Limited has confirmed that it has not yet received the broadcast rights for the tournament.

Fiji Television has over the years telecast the Super Rugby matches on its pay television platform, SKY Pacific.

But it has confirmed of being informed that commercial rights for all Super Rugby rights have been acquired by an overseas company which is expected to provide the same to Fiji-based Televisions stations.

These rights, however, to date, have not released to Fiji.

Fiji TV chief executive, Geoffrey Smith, said: “We have been involved with Super Rugby since 1996. It is a premium sporting content for Fiji TV.

“But this year, TV rights for Super Rugby has been acquired by a new overseas company for the entire region.

“This is something beyond Fiji TV or its management. This is how rights acquisition works in the television business.”

There have been talks linking the issue of rights to the sale of SKY Pacific to Digicel.

The Fiji Sun understands the commercial rights for Super Rugby has been issued to a Jamaican company which has links with Digicel.

Word has been that Digicel has been using this to negotiate its license conditions for SKY Pacific with Government.

However, Digicel Fiji Public Relations and Sponsorship manager, Satish Narain, said they are not negotiating with Government with regards to licence conditions for SKY Pacific.

“The conditions have been set since November last year and have not changed. The conditions are as per the amended Media Decree and yes we have agreed to all conditions in the license,” he said.

Mr Narain further confirmed the sale of SKY Pacific to Digicel is proceeding and a new transition date is expected to be announced very soon.

 

NZ-based games

On a positive note, the New Zealand Government working with New Zealand broadcasters has provided complimentary free-to-air rights for a minimum of two New Zealand-based games a week live to all free-to-air operators in the region.

This means Super Rugby fans can watch two games weekly on Fiji TV, FBC TV and Mai TV.

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation chief executive, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said: “We are absolutely over the moon about it as you know Super Rugby is something that is extremely popular and rugby as you know is one sport that brings the nation together.

“Everyone gets together to watch rugby especially coupled with the fact that a lot of Fijians play provincial rugby in New Zealand and Australia.”

 

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj



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