2010 and 2012 Olympic Games to be broadcast on PRIME and SKY

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today confirmed agreement with SKY Network Television’s (SKY) free-to-air channel, PRIME, for the New Zealand broadcast rights for the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games.

The IOC selected free-to-air channel, PRIME and SKY on their capacity to reach the broadest possible audience through a variety of broadcast platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television and digital media, and the organisation’s commitment to promoting the Olympic Games and the values of the Olympic Movement.

Commenting on the agreement, IOC President Jacques Rogge said “We are delighted to be working with PRIME and SKY who came to us with a complete package that will allow not only increased coverage of the Olympic Games, but also the promotion of Olympic sports and Olympic values beyond the 16 days of competition”.

John Fellet, Chief Executive, SKY Television NZ said, “We are pleased to be awarded the Olympic Games broadcast rights for 2010 and 2012 and we look forward to beginning a new and successful relationship with the IOC. We are confident that New Zealanders will be extremely well served by the widest-ever offering of Olympic coverage across a variety of media platforms.”

PRIME and SKY’s extensive coverage of the event will offer New Zealand viewers unparalleled access to the 28 Summer Olympic sports, 24 hours each day during the competition, with a range of options for both free-to-air viewers on PRIME, along with dedicated SKY digital channels.

“As well as coverage of the build up activities, all major Olympic events, plus those of national importance, will feature prominently in our free-to-air coverage, supplemented by six or more dedicated digital channels and highlights on SKY Sport channels, throughout the Summer Olympics,” said Mr Fellet.

“This will be complimented by a range of other new media options, including live simulcast streaming of our coverage in conjunction with our Mobile partner, Vodafone, so that viewers will be able to keep up to date with the competition no matter where they are,” he said.

Extensive coverage will also be offered through the SKY Website, including news updates and other Olympic related activities such as following the progress of the torch relay prior to the Opening Ceremony. Further promotion will be undertaken through PRIME and SKY news coverage and the company’s SKYWATCH and SKY SPORT magazines.

“We will also give our viewers the opportunity to see the key New Zealand related Olympic events during the months prior, including trials and World Championship events leading to Olympic Selection, therefore offering a very comprehensive coverage package of the build up and both events for all New Zealanders” said Mr Fellet.

Viewers will also receive comprehensive coverage of the Winter Olympics, to be held in Vancouver in 2010, as part of the broadcast arrangements with the IOC.

IOC Executive Board member Richard Carrión, who led the negotiations, said “The IOC, and SKY are delighted to announce a new partnership beginning in 2010. SKY’s ability to provide content across a variety of media platforms, including free-to air-television, subscription television and digital media will be invaluable in allowing sports fans unrivalled coverage of the Olympic Games in New Zealand.”

About the author

  • tvnewser

    “Coverage on Prime will be 22 hours a day for the duration of the 16-day competition, combined games coverage will be more than 2,600 hours, which is phenomenal. That’s more than ever before.”

    (Sky Television director of communications Tony O’Brien)

  • TV Blogger

    Pretty disappointing for people who get the typically poor Prime signal. Especially since Prime haven’t joined the Freeview group – Therefore if you have bad Prime coverage the only way to get a clear signal is to pay for Sky and if you did that, What would be the point on watching it on Prime when you could see it on Sky Sport? It’s fine for me since I’ve got sky… But for a couple of my neighbors I guess they’re S^&T out of luck.
    That said, from what I understand there’ll be live internet streaming and TVNZ took into account the ever-increasing loss of traditional TV Viewers and didn’t find it commercially viable to fork out huge money for a dying medium.
    Don’t get me wrong – I’ve never been one to side with the state broadcaster but perhaps this was a relatively decent/cautious move for the network – god knows FTA doesn’t need another stinker like TV3′s RWC nightmare – they’re still feeling the financial pinch from that fiasco.

  • tvnewser

    It is 5 years away – and analogue TV is set to be switched off in New Zealand in 2012. So PRIME will probably be included on Freeview by then, and judging by the last 5 years there will probably be improvements in PRIME generally by then as well.

  • nanisnap

    Agreed on all points tvnewser. But 22 hours on Prime? That’s a little excessive don’t you think? What about people who want to watch something else? There goes all of that audience.

  • ell

    Fair point nanisnap..

    TVNZ will be grateful they won’t have the angry letters from Coro St fans who miss two weeks worth of their soap.

    The Olympics is a good coup for Prime/Sky, however I think the money could be better served by trying to buy a US contract (ABC/Disney, Fox etc) next time those contracts go up for bidding.

  • peter

    22 hours thats awesome- an event like the olympics that only comes around every 4 years that includes almost every nation in the world, its only fair that we get the best and expansive coverage….yah no moaning coro fans…

  • tvnewser

    There are special deals available for viewers who have poor PRIME reception on UHF.

    http://www.skytv.co.nz/?tabid=203&art_id=2571

  • DanielM

    tvnewser: By the time the Olympics on Sky/Prime come around, Prime will be on Freeview. It’ll have to be on there by 2012 as that is when the analog switch off occurs, and Sky have to provide a free-to-air channel under their obligations to the IOC.

  • tvnewser

    2012 is just the latest the date announcement of the switch-off date will occur. Could be around 2015?

  • Hamish R

    The 2008 Olympics (which I’m currently watching the last day of) has been well covered on TVNZ 1 and TVNZ Sports Extra via FreeView, in our case Standard Def Satelite signal

    Dispite living in an up market urban area, where most residents have higher than normal disposable income, there will be zip, zero, nill uptake of UHF boradcasting, including HD UHF, UHF signals just don’t deliver the goods due to the abundance and high density of large protected trees in this suburb.

    It’s also fair to say that despite the affluence in the area, SKY has never taken off either due to the above reason; there have been a few late adopters of the Sky Sat system of late, but this has paled when compared to the uptake of Freeview leading up to the 2008 Olympics.

    Hopefully Sky will push Prime out on to the Freeview system, has the idea of having a second tuner box and yet another friking remote will be nuts.

    The idea of paying $145 to get a Sky Sat decoder just watch prime is equally nuts. Sky can go take a running jump.

  • bandit

    I got Prime installed via saterlight $145.00 dollars
    Plus I have Freeview as well. Bought a settop on trade me $80.00 so are very happy.

    Great signal and freeview have some good programmes

  • shakeynz

    If Sky’s idea of Olympic hosts is sending Melody Robinson, Ian Jones and andrew Mulligan over to Beijing to anchor – I will cut off my bollox.
    Interesting though to see who they will get to do all of their coverage. TVNZ had the luxuary of having a decent stock of available commentators.
    Come 2012, are we going to be seeing alot of foreign commentary teams?
    TVNZ had the job of covering many events for many international networks – their coverage of the opening ceremony including commentary went all over the world.
    We will now be on the receiving end?

    Also, they will most likely need to figure out who to allign themselves with come the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In the past, TVNZ has sourced its coverage from often the Beeb or CBC Canada.

  • openmedia

    HamishR – You might be surprised how well freeview|HD on UHF copes with your area. The signal is a lot more robust than an analogue signal.

    As to the next Summer and Winter games on Sky NZ.

    Sky have spoken that they will work closely with BSkyB in the UK for coverage and footage. I’d expect limited coverage on Prime, with the bulk of the output provided by Sky’s HD Sports channels as a way to further boost their HD subscribers.

    There is a chance that Prime will be in HD on Sky by 2010, but don’t hold out for even an SD Prime on freeview by 2012 unless we see a rapid turn around by Sky.