Sky Television’s owners have voted in favour of the company’s deal to secure rugby rights until 2025, at the broadcaster’s big AGM today.
It includes exclusive coverage of all Investec Rugby Championship, Steinlager Series, Investec Super Rugby, Mitre 10 Cup and all New Zealand’s other domestic competitions.
The agreement between Sky and New Zealand Rugby was announced on Monday, but shareholder approval was required in order for it to be finalised.
The rights are thought to be worth $400 million, but Sky haven’t confirmed that, only that it’s more than it's spent before.
The deal includes giving New Zealand Rugby a five per cent stake in the company.
Despite shareholder support today, those at the AGM in Auckland put forward some tough questions.
Some raised concerns the company’s significant investment in rugby puts all its eggs in one basket, others questioning the value of giving New Zealand rugby a five per cent stake in the business.
Shares have also been given to RugbyPass investors, after Sky purchased that business earlier this year.
One owner felt this meant there was “a double dilution” in shares.
Sky chief executive Martin Stewart told 1 NEWS, “we’re aware of the dilution to existing shareholders through the issuance of shares to New Zealand rugby but we felt that that was part of the deal that was important to make sure we got over the line”.
“We think it’s going to be great partnership and it’ll deliver value for our shareholders in the long term”, he said.
The approval of the rugby transaction today means the shares will be handed to New Zealand Rugby on November 1.
It comes follows a bumpy year for Sky, with its rival Spark Sport securing the Rugby World Cup and the rights to cricket played in New Zealand.
Sky’s share price dropped to a record low last week, but bounced back after the rugby rights announcement.