TVNZ and Spark aiming to give consumers 'choice' and 'control' as 2019 Rugby World Cup comes live with some games free to air

TVNZ and Spark have partnered to bring audiences the 2019 Rugby World Cup, free to air, giving "consumers choice, and giving them control".

For the first time since the 2007 edition of the tournament, audiences will be able to view the All Blacks' bid to become world champions free to air.

New Zealanders will be able to view all RWC2019 matches live or on-demand via Spark streaming over their broadband or mobile connection. It won't be restricted to Spark customers.

The tournament will be offered on a pay to watch basis, with packages to include a tournament pass and passes for individual matches.

TVNZ will screen selected matches free-to-air and won't break to ads in live game time.

Next year's World Cup isn't the only global tournament secured by the TVNZ-Spark partnership, with the 2021 Women's World Cup, 2018 Sevens World Cup, and 2018 and 2019 U20 tournaments also to be free to air.

In a media release, TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick spoke of his delight at being able to bring New Zealanders coverage of next year's global rugby showpiece.

"Our agreement will broaden the availability of New Zealand's biggest sport and give viewers even more choice."

"Together we're committed to delivering a fantastic viewing experience for all New Zealanders – making the most of Spark's leading digital technology and distribution capabilities and TVNZ's unrivalled audience reach and content expertise."

Speaking on TVNZ 1's Breakfast today, Kevin Kenrick and Spark managing director Simon Moutter detailed the process of broadcasting next year's tournament.

"This is the new world coming at us in video," Moutter said.

"We're going to deliver it primarily through an online streaming platform.

"They'll be delivered in a range of packages, people will be able to buy a single match, a tournament pass - at very affordable prices."

"The critical thing here is giving the consumers choice, and giving them control," Kenrick added.

Kenrick also said that the televised live coverage would differ from that of this year's Commonwealth Games.

"The Comm Games has been brilliant - we've had a great opportunity to learn by getting back into live sport in a big way."

"One of the lessons for us is about the placement of ads. I can tell you there will not be ads during live games of the Rugby World Cup.

"We've learned some lessons around that, and we're pretty keen to build on those."

TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick and Spark managing director Simon Moutter spoke on TVNZ1’s Breakfast after the Rugby World Cup coverage announcement. Source: Breakfast

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Rampaging Akira Ioane scores try in 29 seconds as Auckland edge Taranaki in brutal NPC clash

It didn't take Akira Ioane long to make his presence felt, scoring a try in 29 seconds of Auckland's Mitre 10 Cup match against Taranaki at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth tonight.

Ioane made sure to make Taranaki pay for their mistake as they fumbled the ball off the kick-off.

Auckland spread the ball wide down the left flank where Ioane was stationed, with the number eight charging over to score from 30 metres out.

Bottom of the premiership ladder Taranaki threw everything they had at the visitors, but went down 31-30 to Auckland.

Alama Ieremia's team are unbeaten so far in the Mitre 10 Cup and are at the top of the premiership ladder after their win over Taranaki.

Auckland take on Otago next Friday at Eden Park.

Auckland held on to defeat Taranaki 31-30 at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth. Source: SKY



Unbeaten Auckland hold off late Taranaki surge to win tense NPC battle

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of tonight's Mitre 10 Cup match between Taranaki and Auckland at Yarrows Stadium in New Plymouth.


86 mins - TARANAKI 30 AUCKLAND 31

Taranaki's Stephen Perofeta shanks his second attempt at goal with his kick going well wide of the goal posts. 

82 mins - TARANAKI 30 AUCKLAND 31

TRY! Taranaki's reserve back Brayton Northcott-Hill goes into score down the left edge, he throws a dummy before powering his over the try line.

Auckland have charged early and Stephen Perofeta misses his shot at goal, he will get another chance at a conversion. 

77 mins: TARANAKI 25 AUCKLAND 31

MISS! Harry Plummer misses a penalty kick from halfway - Taranaki are still in this match.

74 mins: TARANAKI 25 AUCKLAND 31

TRY! Taranaki strike back! Leighton Price has the ball in hand 5m out of Auckland's goal-line and he throws a great inside ball for his skipper Mitch Crosswell to score.

Beaudein Waaka's conversion attempt hits the right upright. Taranaki trail by just six-points and need a converted try to win the match. 

72 mins: TARANAKI 20 AUCKLAND 31

YELLOW CARD! Auckland's right winger Melani Nanai is sent to the bin for coming in from the side at the breakdown and turning the ball over. 

69 mins: TARANAKI 20 AUCKLAND 31

TRY! Auckland's left winger Salesi Rayasi is in again! Taranaki try to run it out of their own 22 and Regan Ware loses the ball with Rayasi pouncing on the loose ball and running in to score under the goal posts.

Harry Plummer adds the extras.

60 mins: TARANAKI 20 AUCKLAND 24

TRY! Salesi Rayasi strolls over to score after a great set-piece play by Auckland, they shift the ball left and Taranaki are short on their right hand side. Auckland's second-five TJ Faiane runs as a decoy and they opt for a back-door play before spreading the ball to Rayasi who dots down over the left hand side.

Harry Plummer is off target with his kick at goal.

51 mins: TARANAKI 20 AUCKLAND 19

TRY! After a number of attacking charges from the Taranaki forwards at Auckland's goal-line - Tom Florence goes in low and powers his way over to score a crucial try for the home team.

The conversion from Beaudein Waaka is online from out wide as he curves the ball from left to right over the crossbar. 

40 mins: TARANAKI 13 AUCKLAND 19

And we are back underway with Taranaki kicking off deep towards Auckland.


38 mins: TARANAKI 13 AUCKLAND 19

TRY! After being denied a try earlier Jonathan Ruru can thank his teammate Akira Ioane for the assist. Ioane darts down the right edge before making the perfect pass for Ruru to score down the right edge. Auckland hit the front.

Harry Plummer lands his kick from out wide, bringing the ball around from right to left and through the uprights.

37 mins: TARANAKI 13 AUCKLAND 12

THREE! Beaudein Waaka edges Taranaki in front after landing a penalty kick from about 25m out on the angle.

31 mins: TARANAKI 10 AUCKLAND 12

TRY! Harry Plummer sees acres of space behind the Taranaki defenders and he stabs in a grubber kick which sits up perfectly for Tumua Manu who dots down for Auckland's second try of the match.

Harry Plummer lands his kick from out wide, curving the ball from left to right over the goal posts.


TRY! Stephen Perofeta spots a hole in Auckland's defence and charges into it, he gets tackled inside Auckland's 22. Seta Tamanivalu spots some space down the blindside and goes himself. He bumps off the Auckland tackler Jordan Trainor with ease and dives over to score down the right edge. 

The conversion from the sideline by Beaudein Waaka is successful.


MISS! Taranaki's Beaudein Waaka misses his penalty kick at goal from over 25m out after Auckland were penalised for an offside play.


THREE! Taranaki are on the score-board after Beaudein Waaka's kick at goal goes soaring through the uprights.


MISS! Beaudein Waaka's penalty kick at goal for Taranaki from over 40m out is off target.


SCRUM! Taranaki are doing good on attack as they rumble into Auckland's half, but they lose the ball forward just outside Auckland's 22. Stephen Perofeta threw a little inside pass to his flanker Tom Florence who couldn't hold onto the pill.


TRY! It only takes 29 seconds and Akira Ioane has scored the first five-pointer, dotting over down the left hand corner.Troubling signs for Taranaki.

Harry Plummer misses his conversion attempt from the sideline.

KICK-OFF! And we are underway! Taranaki fumble the ball on their own 22m line.


Taranaki: 1 Chris Gawler, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 3 Reuben O'Neill, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Leighton Price, 6 Pita Sowakula, 7 Tom Florence, 8 Mitch Crosswell, 9 Brendon Leonard, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 11 Manasa Mataele, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 14 Regan Ware, 15 Beaudein Waaka.

Reserves: 16 Donald Maka, 17 Jared Proffit, 18 Kyle Stewart, 19 Tupou Vaai, 20 Jack White, 21 Logan Crowley, 22 Ciarhan Matoe, 23 Brayton Northcott-Hill.

Auckland: 1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 2 Robbie Abel, 3 Marcel Renata, 4 Faatiga Lemalu, 5 Jack Whetton, 6 Evan Olmstead, 7 Dalton Papali'i, 8 Akira Ioane, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 10 Harry Plummer, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 12 TJ Faiane, 13 Tumua Manu, 14 Melani Nanai, 15 Jordan Trainor.

Reserves: 16 Mike Sosene-Feagai, 17 Jarred Adams, 18 Marco Fepulea'i, 19 Lyndon Dunshea, 20 Hoskins Sotutu, 21 Jacob Umaga, 22 Tanielu Tele'a.

86 mins - TARANAKI 30 AUCKLAND 31
Seta Tamanivalu, Taranaki v Waikato. Mitre 10 Cup rugby union, Ranfurly Shield challenge. Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth. 9 September 2018. Copyright Image: Andy Jackson /
Taranaki midfielder Seta Tamanivalu in action against Waikato during a Ranfurly Shield challenge at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth. Source: Photosport



Canterbury backs' counter-attack leads to superb long range try as Otago go down in NPC clash

Canterbury has outmuscled their southern rivals Otago 47-25 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin today.

The visitors led at the break 26-13.

Otago stormed their way back into the match after try by first-five Josh Ioane in the 49th minute.

But Canterbury were just too good, running in three tries midway through the second spell.

Midfielder Braydon Ennor scored a great try for Canterbury in the 59th minute, after an initial attacking run by his fullback George Bridge.

Bridge busted through Otago's defensive line before offloading the ball to Ennor around the 40 metre line, Ennor went on surging run down the left flank before fooling defenders with a dummy.

Ennor had no one in front of him and ran into score untouched for Canterbury's sixth try of the match.

Canterbury will take on Hawke's Bay next Sunday at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.

The visitors defeated Otago 47-25 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Source: SKY


North Harbour hooker James Parsons nails sideline conversion in 100th NPC match

North Harbour's hooker James Parsons celebrated his 100th NPC match in style, nailing a side-line conversion in his side's 51-34 Mitre 10 Cup win against Hawke's Bay in Napier this afternoon.

The 31-year-old scored two tries in the match and nailed a difficult conversion on the angle, to put the icing on the cake in a see-saw battle with the Magpies.

The lead changed several times in the match with North Harbour scoring two late tries to secure victory over the home team.

Harbour will take on Taranaki next Saturday in New Plymouth in their next NPC fixture.

The first-five put on a big right foot step before scoring in his side’s 51-34 win over Hawke’s Bay in Napier. Source: SKY

North Harbour 51 (James Parsons 2, Matt Duffie, Shaun Stevenson, Tevita Li, Bryn Gatland, Harrison Groundwater tries;Gatland 4, Parsons con; Gatland 2 pen).

Hawke's Bay 34 (Kianu Kereru-Symes, Jonah Lowe, JJ Taulagi, Brad Weber tries; Taulagi 4 con, 2 pen).

HT: 15-17.

Parsons didn't put a step wrong against Hawke's Bay, scoring two tries and nailing a conversion. Source: SKY