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Landmark Sky deal provides New Zealand Football with financial boost

Landmark Sky deal provides New Zealand Football with financial boost

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New Zealand Football has claimed a new television deal with pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand covering national team games between June and November will help provide it with a self-sufficient business model this year.

New Zealand Football has claimed a new television deal with pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand covering national team games between June and November will help provide it with a self-sufficient business model this year.

The package deal with Sky guarantees that eight men’s and six women’s national team matches will be screened live between June and November. NZ Football has previously had to pay big fees for games to be televised – a factor that contributes to the organisation’s business model consistently running at a loss.

NZ Football has suffered from poor ticket sales for its home games meaning that its finances have been balanced by transfers from an International Teams Activity Reserve, set up in 2010 after a NZ$10 million (US$8 million) windfall in prize money through New Zealand’s qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, the initial reserve of NZ$2.5 million is down to NZ$400,000 after NZ$828,000 was transferred in 2011 and NZ$1.2 million in the last financial year. NZ Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh said the Sky deal should help ease the cost of hosting internationals, creating more advertising and promotional opportunities and alleviating considerable fees.

“I can’t go into details, but the new deal with Sky puts us in a position where we feel there’s respect on each side in terms of payment,” he told the Star-Times newspaper. “Now, it’s turned around so that they pay us. Sky wants subscriptions and one-off games don’t do that. We need to go to them with a package and are selling in six-month lots. Now they can advertise as the home of New Zealand football. If we do make it to Brazil (for the 2014 World Cup) our financial health is guaranteed for another four years, but the key is still a sustainable business model.”