August 21, 2015 by Doug Coutts
Announcing a record profit today, pay-TV broadcaster Sky also said it would be offering reduced coverage of some, if not all, okay all, Rugby World Cup matches later this year.
“Although on the face of it, the company’s in a good financial position, we do have to tighten our belts,” communications manager Bill Shettenbluster told WWNews. “Paying exorbitant, or any, sums of money for broadcasting rights is something we’re not prepared to do, especially for sports involving other countries as well as New Zealand which are played at inconvenient times.”
Sky would not broadcast any RWC games live, he said, opting instead for delayed coverage from borrowed iPhone footage. “We will insist on 4 megapixels as a minimum and expect all contributors to shoot in horizontal format,” Mr Shettenbluster said. “We will also have a team of commentators listening to internet streams and tweeting the exciting phases of play, in much the same way the NZ Herald runs its entire newsgathering operation.”
Mr Shettenbluster said Sky was confident the majority of customers would appreciate this common-sense approach and not cancel their subscriptions in record numbers. “We have plenty of other activity- and competition-based programming on offer, including the West Yorks Cheese-rolling Champs and Unicycle Polo from Svarlbard.” One team in the cheese-rolling even had New Zealand connections, he said. “Well, they can point it out on a map.”
Sky could not rule out cutbacks in other areas, Mr Shettenbluster added. “Although you can pretty much rest assured the board’s Christmas Party will be a rip-snorter.”