Spark Sport will stream the next Superbowl and show a selection of American football games for the remainder of the 2019/20 season plus the playoffs, the Pro Bowl and a raft of ancillary content under a new, direct deal with the NFL.
Rival Sky will continue to also stream a selection of NFL games via its ESPN deal.
A Spark rep confirms that both Spark Sport and Sky will show the next Superbowl, the playoffs and the Pro Bowl, but the two will each show a different section of regular-season games.
Like NBL basketball and top-tier English football, NFL will become another competition that requires subscriptions to both Sky and Spark Sport to follow.
In its defence, Spark says Sky has more than halved the cost of its Sky Sport Now app since Spark Sport launched in March – and that sports fans now have more content, and more ways to watch, than ever before.
Spark Sport NFL content includes:
• 2x LIVE Sunday Afternoon NY time games (Monday AM NZT)
• 1x Sunday Afternoon NY time game delayed (Monday AM NZT)
• 10x LIVE Playoff games
• Live Pro Bowl
• Live Super Bowl
• A range of NFL preview, review and highlight clips that are on Spark Sport from today
The Superbowl hasn’t been immune to streaming issues. In February, the US broadcaster CBS copped flak after an online partner’s online coverage fell over during what, for Americans, is the biggest game of the year. But the code’s more modest following in NZ shouldn’t put Spark Sport under too much pressure. After a couple of early wobbles, the insurgent has provided consistently solid Formula 1 and English Premier League streams.
In October, Spark nabbed rights to domestic cricket, plus a deal for hourly highlights for overseas games, while Sky secured a new Sanzaar contract to lock down the All Blacks and Super Rugby for another five years, and renewed key netball and international cricket deals.
People wanting to view the NFL content via Spark Sport will be able to access it by purchasing a $19.99/month Spark Sport subscription which will also give users access to all other subscription content currently on the streaming platform.
Spark shares were up 0.5 per cent to $4.35 in late morning trading. The stock is flat for the year.
Sky shares were up 2.7 per cent to 75c, staging a modest rebound after hitting an all-time low of 73c yesterday. The stock is down 63 per cent for the year.
Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch, says, “The NFL is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world and excitingly streaming coverage of Super Bowl LIII set viewership records with 7.5 million unique devices streaming the game.
“For Spark Sport to be able to add to that figure in the coming year is brilliant and will show how more and more people are shifting to streaming sports.”
Spark Sport’s coverage of the NFL will continue on Monday with live coverage of the Patriots vs the Bengals and the Falcons vs the 49ers.
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