The dismantling of sports coverage in New Zealand takes another step.
SKY Television has announced that they can’t be bothered have relinquished rights to their previously extensive golf coverage. In 2014 a SKY subscriber gets roughly 40 hours of top level golf a weekend, with a combination of European Tour and US PGA tournaments every weekend. They start at 9pm Thursday and end at lunchtime on Monday.
Then there are the highlights shows that follow.
All of this in a sport that is unrivalled in terms of advertising opportunities, and it’s now all gone, apart from four weekends a year, and one of those is the Australian Open.
Although nothing is confirmed you would imagine that Coliseum Media has once again jumped in to ensure that the coverage of international sport in New Zealand is no longer a monopolistic given.
What will be interesting here is how golf watchers take to this. Major tournaments get the mainstream media coverage, but there is a lot of product given up by SKY in this development. In male dominated clubrooms around the country you get a lot of men, mainly pre Internet men, who love that 40 hours of golf every week.
But are they the sort of people who will set themselves up for some online viewing? A quick look at the carry-on associated with The Masters will tell you these people are not the most progressive members of society. One of the challenges will be to make the online experience seem a bit less hip.
The key here though is the unbundling factor. Current Premier League pass subscribers are unaffected. Golf fans who are golf fans only can invest in a new diamond V neck cashmere sweater or two with the savings coming their way.
It’s called decoupling, and it’s the future.