America’s Cup: broadcast rights return home

Television New Zealand (TVNZ) has secured the exclusive broadcast rights for New Zealand to the 36th America’s Cup which includes the preliminary World Series events, the Christmas Race in 2020, followed by the Prada Cup in early 2021, and the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada in March 2021.

The event’s return to TVNZ will give New Zealanders access to all races broadcast live and live streaming will also be available across TVNZ’s platforms. Coverage will begin with the America’s Cup World Series in 2019 and culminate with Emirates Team New Zealand’s defence of the Auld Mug in 2021 during the 36th America’s Cup Match Presented by Prada in Auckland.

The deal resumes TVNZ’s association with the event that goes back to 1987 when it was part of the original family of five sponsors of Emirates Team New Zealand.

The TVNZ coverage during the 2013 America’s Cup drew the largest TV audience for any broadcast in New Zealand history, the USA defender sold the exclusive rights to Sky TV for the 2017 America’s Cup.

TVNZ’s Chief Executive Kevin Kenrick states that TVNZ will deliver viewers extensive Cup coverage across TVNZ 1, DUKE, TVNZ OnDemand, and 1 NEWS NOW:

“The event returning to TVNZ brings to mind Peter Montgomery’s iconic TV commentary – ‘The America’s Cup is now New Zealand’s Cup’ – because it brings the whole country together and as a nation, we’re really invested in the team’s success,” says Kenrick. “We’re going to push the boat out to make our coverage accessible to the biggest audiences so everyone feels part of the action.

“From the first boats hitting the water to the final Cup race, we’re committed to bringing New Zealanders every moment of the America’s Cup. Every regatta and every race will be screened live and free across a range of platforms and devices. We know sports fans don’t want to miss a moment, so we won’t break to ads during live racing.”

Grant Dalton, CEO of Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, says TVNZ’s involvement will maximise the number of New Zealanders that see the event.

“It has been a fundamental principle of Emirates Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record that the America’s Cup be accessible to as many Kiwis as possible since we won the trophy back almost one year ago,” states Dalton. “TVNZ have committed to provide coverage of this America’s Cup like no other, so we are delighted that the America’s Cup Match Presented by Prada and all preceding events will be broadcast live and free to air for all New Zealanders to watch and be part of.”

“Within Luna Rossa we are very happy about this agreement with New Zealand’s most prominent broadcaster, it is great news for all of us,” says Max Sirena, Skipper of Luna Rossa. “We are looking forward to showing the potential of the new America’s Cup Class boats.

“As the Challenger of Record for the 36th America’s Cup, we are pleased to jointly sign this agreement with TVNZ and the Defender. It is the first broadcast rights agreement to be signed and exemplifies our commitment to ensuring wide reaching broadcast and digital coverage of the America’s Cup both in New Zealand and globally,” states Laurent Esquier, CEO of COR 36.

And as part of TVNZ’s agreement, NZME’s Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport will deliver exclusive radio commentary of the event.

Source: Hamish Hooper, Emirates Team New Zealand

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