Could a sports channel be on the cards for Freeview?

The Oceania Football Confederation is considering launching a new free-to-air TV channel on Freeview.

The OFC, which is backed by the wealth of world football body Fifa, has already initiated talks with free-to-air television provider Freeview, at least 15 national sports organisations and Crown entity Sport New Zealand.

It is understood the Oceania plan is for 24-hour broadcasting, including live events, built around football but also encompassing other sports – many of which struggle to meet the financial demands of subscription satellite provider Sky TV.

If successful, the plan could beam significantly more domestic sport into New Zealand homes free-of-charge and, potentially, the competition could drive Sky’s prices down.

This would be a fantastic thing if it eventuates.

The lure for taxpayer-funded organisations such as New Zealand Football, Netball New Zealand and New Zealand Cricket is significantly lower prices for televised content than those set by Sky.

For the codes, the new option could mean daily price-tags as low as around $6000 instead of five-figure sums for satellite services – though production crews would be small, possibly as few as two or three people.

It’s also understood Oceania plans to engage with New Zealand On Air – the Government agency that dispenses discretionary funding for diverse, locally produced content.

The lack of any regulation in the TV market has delivered New Zealand sports fans an expensive viewing option and the arrival of a deep pocketed competitor will no doubt be celebrated by Kiwis everywhere.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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