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Spark reveals Rugby World Cup pricing

Author
Chris Keall, NZ Herald ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 16 April 2019, 6:47AM
Richie McCaw and Dan Carter with the Webb Ellis Trophy after the All Blacks won their back-to-back title at Twickenham in 2015. Photo / Photosport.

Spark has revealed what it will cost to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup through its Spark Sport app - plus a cover-its-bets approach that will see 12 games screen live or delayed on free-to-air partner TVNZ.

Those who purchase a "super early bird" pass in May will pay $59.99 to watch live every Rugby World Cup match.

From June to early September, the price will be $79.99.

Then in the "final few days" before the tournament starts in Japan, the cost will rise to $89.99.

Single match passes will also be available for $24.99 once the tournament is under way.

Head of Spark Sports, Jeff Latch told Mike Yardley they are aware that some Kiwis don't have the internet connection to support viewing the tournament online.

"That was one of the major reasons we chose to make all the All Black playoff and knockout matches available on free to air TV because we really want to make sure all New Zealanders get to see those key matches with the All Blacks."

"We are allowing pubs and clubs to access the consumer pricing for the Rugby World Cup, so we are hoping that will be another alternative for people. Of course, there are a range of other initiatives in place to expand broadband coverage into rural areas."

He said the prices are aimed at incentivising people to sign up early.

"If they come in during the month of May they can access a special early bird price."

"Get everything organised now so you have a terrific experience during the Rugby World Cup."

He said the sooner people get signed up, the more content they get.

Latch said while they are expecting the All Blacks to make it to the playoffs, nothing is for certain.

"I would be lying if I said we didn't want or expect the All Blacks to get to the business end of the tournament, but certainly there are no sure bets as we have learned in previous World Cups."

Spark has also confirmed rumours it will take a conservative approach, with 12 games also screening on free-to-air partner TVNZ, and a fallback plan - as first revealed by the Herald on February 15 - for other games to be transferred to TVNZ's Duke channel "within a few minutes" in the event of technical glitches like those that ruined Optus' attempts to stream the FIFA World Cup to an Australian audience last year.

The free games will be a mix of live and one or two-hour delay, following the model that Sky used with its Prime channel.

The free-game line-up:
• Friday 20 September / Pool A, Match 1 (opening match) / Japan v Russia / LIVE

• Saturday 21 September / Pool B, Match 4 / NZ v South Africa / Delayed by 1 hour

• Saturday 28 September / Pool C, Match 13 / Tonga v Argentina / LIVE

• Wednesday 2 October / Pool B, Match 20 / NZ v Canada / Delayed by 1 hour

• Friday 4 October / Pool B, Match 23 / South Africa v Italy / LIVE

• Sunday 6 October / Pool B, Match 27 / NZ v Namibia / Delayed by 1 hour

• Wednesday 9 October / Pool D, Match 32 / Fiji v Wales / LIVE

• Sunday 12 October / Pool B, Match 34 / NZ v Italy / Delayed by 1 hour

• One quarter final: TBC, but will be the NZ match, assuming the team progress past the pool stage / Delayed by 1 hour

• Saturday 26 October / Semi-finals, Match 45 / LIVE

• Sunday 27 October / Semi-finals, Match 46 / LIVE

• Saturday 2 November / Final, Match 48 and medal ceremony / LIVE

Rugby World Cup matches streamed on Spark Sport free-to-view

• Wednesday 25 September / Pool D, Match 10 / Fiji v Uruguay / Delayed by 2 hours

• Monday 30 September / Pool A, Match 18 / Scotland v Samoa / Delayed by 2 hours

Spark has so far released web, iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android versions of its Spark Sport app.

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