Yachting New Zealand have joined more than 50 sports in a ground-breaking grassroots sport initiative launched today by Sky and Olympian and former America’s Cup sailor Rob Waddell.
More than 50 national sports organisations and rights-holders have come together to form the New Zealand Sport Collective, led Waddell.
Together, they will be part of Sky Sport Next, a platform designed to be a launching pad for some of New Zealand’s most popular grassroots sports and rising young talent.
Through Sky Sport Next, New Zealanders will get free access to watch more than 50 different sports and thousands of events, many of which wouldn’t have otherwise been live streamed or made their way to a leading platform.
The events will be streamed, and highlights packages available, on the Sky Sport Next YouTube channel and some content will be broadcast on Sky Sport, Sky’s sport streaming service Sky Sport Now, and Sky’s free-to-air channel Prime.
Yachting New Zealand are presently putting together plans around what the coverage will look like.
“Sailing is often a difficult sport to put in front of large audiences because it happens off beaches rather than on a sports field or in stadiums but this is a terrific opportunity for us to showcase our sport and talented sailors," Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie said. “We’re really looking forward to working with Sky Sport Next and the New Zealand Sport Collective to bring the excitement and skill of sailing to more and more Kiwis.”
In line with Sky’s commitment to support women in sport, Sky aims to have an equal mix of male and female representation on Sky Sport Next.
“As the home of sport in New Zealand, we’re about the whole game, which means all levels of sport – from grassroots to the elite," Sky chief executive Martin Stewart said. "We’re keen to support all the sports that New Zealanders love to play and watch.
“We understand the importance of a sustainable future for New Zealand sport and are proud to be investing more than $10 million over the next three years to give over 50 Kiwi sports a chance to be seen and to grow. Sky Sport Next is a tangible way we can give back to our communities and support sports and talent that don’t currently get a lot of exposure.
“When Rob approached me with the NZ Sport Collective, after hearing about our efforts in the grassroots sports space, we jumped at the chance to be part of such a ground-breaking initiative. We look forward to working together and making a game-changing impact on the New Zealand sporting community.”
Rob Waddell said: “On behalf of the New Zealand Sport Collective, we are thrilled to be working with Sky on Sky Sport Next. The scale of our collaboration is unprecedented, and many sports that previously had little in the way of funding and exposure will now be seen on New Zealand’s most prominent sports broadcaster. Together we want to inspire more Kiwis to play sport, and work with sports codes to reduce the barriers for young people to participate. It’s an exciting era for New Zealand sport.”