Sky has secured the broadcast rights for the 2022 and 2026 Commonwealth Games and built on its relationship with the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC).
Sky CEO Martin Stewart said, “As the Home of Sport, being able to showcase New Zealanders competing on the world stage in the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games is incredibly important to us. It is our privilege to have the Summer, Winter and Youth Olympic Games, and we’re delighted to now have the Commonwealth Games returning to Sky and Prime.
“The deal also enables us to strengthen our longstanding partnership with the NZOC, and we look forward to working together to deliver these special events to New Zealanders.”
Kereyn Smith, CEO and Secretary General of the NZOC, says, “Every four years the Commonwealth comes together to celebrate sport and our shared history. Our athletes test themselves against some of the best in the world and we are delighted to be working with a rights-holding broadcaster that has proven they are experts in their field.
“We also welcome Sky’s ongoing support of the New Zealand Team as they extend their long-standing partnership with us through until 2026.
“As rights-holding broadcaster, Sky will deliver all the Birmingham 2022 events live on multiple Sky Sport channels, streamed on Sky Go (free for Sky customers) and Sky Sport Now.
“Sky is looking forward to delivering innovative options for New Zealanders to follow the sports and athletes they love, both in the lead-up to and during the Games.”
A key part of the deal is Sky’s ongoing commitment to free-to-air coverage of major international events.
Martin Stewart says: “There will be a significant number of hours of live and curated coverage on Prime every day of the Commonwealth Games, including the special action involving New Zealand athletes. This commitment is consistent with Sky’s delivery of free-to-air coverage for previous international events.
“2.5 million New Zealanders watched our free coverage of the Rio Olympics in 2016, and 2.4 million watched our free coverage of Rugby World Cup 2015.
“Our promise on Birmingham 2022, as it is on our other major sporting events, is that we will deliver outstanding sport experiences for all New Zealanders. Those who want to see key moments free on Prime can do just that; sports fans who want to watch all the action across the wide range of events can do so on Sky Sport or stream it on Sky Sport Now and Sky Go.
“We will have daily Commonwealth Games studio shows on Sky and free-to-air on Prime, and Sky Sport News will also report on all of the key action.
Digital will play a key role with coverage across Sky digital platforms well before the Games commence, and through multiple live streams and on-demand content throughout the Games.
“Even before we get to see New Zealand file into the stadium in Birmingham for the opening ceremony, Sky will be telling the story of the road to the starting line. We’ll be working closely with the New Zealand Team to unlock how they challenge and test themselves to be the best when it counts. We’ll emulate that approach in the way we prepare and deliver the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
Birmingham 2022 is the first Commonwealth Games to have more women’s medal events than men’s, and youth, equality and diversity are key themes for the event.
“Under the partnership between Sky and NZOC, we have committed to working together to increase women’s participation and visibility across key aspects of the Games, including our reporting of women’s events on Sky Sport News and the highlights shows, the number of female presenters and women on the Sky production crew.
“It’s something we’re already striving to do across Sky, and it is a key objective for the NZOC. The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is also committed to gender equality, and Birmingham 2022 provides a great opportunity to showcase the power of sport to inspire and empower a new generation of women and girls throughout the Commonwealth.”
CGF CEO David Grevemberg CBE said: “We are delighted to announce Sky as New Zealand’s rights holding broadcaster for the Commonwealth Games in a long-term commitment that will cover Birmingham 2022 and the 2026 Games.
“I would like to thank Sky and our CGF Partnerships team for their work in putting this agreement in place and helping to help promote our values of Humanity, Equality and Destiny across the Commonwealth.”
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from the 27th of July to the 7th of August.