INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hobbs Supports Free-to-air Sport

Published: Wed 19 Jan 2000 02:02 PM
The new Minister of Broadcasting Marian Hobbs says that while she supports legislation to ensure sports were free to air, it will be necessary to consult with television broadcasters first.
Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton’s had earlier proposed passing legislation ensuring that all major sports events were broadcast free to air.
He said as sporting events were part of New Zealand’s national heritage, people who could not afford pay-to-air television were currently being denied part of their culture.
At present Sky television owns the rights to screen both rugby and cricket in New Zealand.
Ms Hobbs said she supported Anderton's proposed legislation which was an Alliance election promise but said she would consult with television networks "for their input" before introducing it to parliament.
Meanwhile, the head of Sky Chief Executive Nate Smith criticised the proposal saying sports would lose vital revenue if they could not accept broadcast offers from pay television.

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