Rugby World Cup on TV

When New Zealand hosts the Rugby World Cup in 2011, which TV channel will show the games?

We know that TVNZ does not have enough money to show the Commonwealth Games next year so does it have enough money for the Rugby World Cup? Both TVNZ and TV3 made an offer to televise the rugby but the surprise last week was Maori TV. With $3 million from the Ministry of Maori Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Maori TV made an offer to televise the 16 main games live. About 10% of the commentary would be in Te Reo, the Maori language.

Maori TV is hoping that people who watch the rugby will continue to watch Maori TV. Dr Pita Sharples, co-leader of the Maori Party, says that this is good use of Maori Development money. Shane Jones of the Labour Party, however, says that Maori Development money is to help Maori families.

The Prime Minister, John Key, said that 100% of New Zealanders must be able to watch the Rugby World Cup, and Maori TV can only reach 90% of places. Smaller towns like Russell and Queenstown cannot receive Maori TV.

Today, TVNZ and TV3 have made a new offer to share the games, 6 games each. The International Rugby Board will meet in Ireland later this year to choose the successful offer.