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TVNZ Counter Bids For Rugby World Cup Games

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 13 NZPA - Television New Zealand (TVNZ) has offered a new bid to show the free-to-air Rugby World Cup games.

The bid follows a $3 million offer by Maori Television (MTS).

The TVNZ bid had lead the International Rugby Board (IRB) to delay its decision over who would be able to air the 16 games.

The remainder of the competition will be aired on Sky TV.

The MTS bid, supported Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, was paid out of Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry for Maori Development) money set aside to foster Maori development and not the $16.5m given to the channel to fund its operation.

Dr Sharples argued it was a good use of money as the games could be used as a platform for promoting the Maori language.

However, it has been reported that Finance Minister Bill English and Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully were less than impressed.

Prime Minister John Key said he expected to games to be available to all New Zealanders.

Yesterday, Mr Key confirmed that MTS changed its bid to allow subcontracting only after he made it clear that whoever won the bid needed to be able to reach all viewers.

MTS suffers some black spot areas.

TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards would not say how the company came up with the money for the bid, only that it was "innovative", the New Zealand Herald reported.

TVNZ re-submitted its bid after the announcement of government funding for the MTS bid.

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