Sky TV's glory days could be over

Last updated 05:00 06/07/2013
Robin Van Persie
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It was always going to happen. Remember the pigeon, newspaper, telegraph, radio, cassette players, VCDs? 

OPINION: They were all superseded by something better and after a seemingly prolonged time, the humble old television box might be about to lock its name on that list.

With internet improving so quickly and broadband networks capable of shifting more bandwidth than ever before, suddenly our computers and mobile phones are able to show video in quality better than TV itself.

You've been able to watch NFL games on your iPad for some time now.

In terms of sports broadcasting, the likes of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and EPL have already started making their games available on mobile phones and laptops in many parts of the world. They have embraced the internet at last after a rocky start when piracy was a big concern.

What we've seen in the last week with the EPL rights in New Zealand just indicates that we have come rather belatedly to the party and I think we will see more sports follow the way of the EPL.

Sky's glory days could be over unless it changes the way it operates. It's a shame really as it has been a tremendous broadcaster until now.

For me, this is a great thing. The trouble with Sky is that you are chained to whatever they show. Now, sports viewers can just tailor make and pay for what they want to watch and when they want to watch it.

There are too many programmes on Sky that I don't watch but have to pay for right now.

Pretty soon, I could just pay to watch my teams' games in the EPL for a season plus the highlights packages which we'll see more on free-to-air TV as the likes of TVNZ and TV3 can now afford to buy those from the broadcasters who hold the rights rather than engage in an expensive war with Sky.

While I love my sport, nowadays I can't really watch every EPL, Super Rugby and NRL game so highlights shows are my bread and butter.

I think the next high profile sport that could follow the EPL's trend in New Zealand is the NRL as Sky has very limited control over the broadcasting rights and with the money the ARL has now, they have as much bargaining power as the EPL and can choose whoever they want to sell the rights to.

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Super Rugby can already be watched on the internet outside NZ.

And Super Rugby's time could come in NZ sooner rather than later too - SANZAR, like the ARL and EPL, will want to sell the rights to the best party and would have looked with interest at the way the EPL has gone to another party and realise that they may not be stuck with just Sky.

We're entering the age where consumers pay for what they use rather than pay for whole packages with things that they are not likely to use - Air New Zealand does that for onboard food and drinks, meaning it is able to deliver higher quality products only to those who want it, and cut down on waste.

Soon, sports followers will be able to cut down on the waste they have been paying and just pay for what they're really interested in.    

I say bring it on.


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