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The Two Minute Ripoff

Remember Khair Jones absolutely blootering in a goal for Hawkes Bay United against WaiBOP a couple of years back? Here it is.

Or how about Paul Ifill’s first goal in nearly three years? There you go.

Maybe that utterly bonkers 6 – 6 semi-final between Team Wellington and Waitakere United? Easy.

Not this year. This year Sky have restricted NZ Football to just TWO MINUTES of match footage from each round of the ISPS Handa Premiership. That means the 3 minute goals wrap posted on NZ Football’s facebook page on Wednesday is all that will be available on any social media platform for New Zealand’s showpiece football competition.

This, of course, is dreadful.

Football in New Zealand is about to have a huge spotlight shone on it, thanks to the All Whites playoff with Peru next month, yet the available footage from games has been slashed to the barest minimum.

It’s bad for supporters, who are now pretty much back to the situation prior to Sky’s involvement.

Want to see how your team played in the away game you couldn’t afford to get to because it’s down in Dunedin or up in Auckland? Sorry, just the goals from that game.

The wonder-save your keeper made, excitedly reported upon by the clubs Twitter? Sorry, just the goals from that game.

Skills, near misses, red cards, incidents? Yeah, sorry, just the goals from that game.

It’s bad for clubs, who shared the YouTube highlights packages of their individual games on their Facebook and Twitter feeds – providing something for their followers to share out, comment on, like and view. The videos from last season all get into viewcounts that far exceed the attendances of matches.

It’s bad for players too, who had used the highlights to create their own showreels of their skills and talents, the better to impress scouts in the quest for overseas deals. Here’s Stephen Hoyle’s goals, Zac Speedy’s saves.

It’s bad for those of us who desperately want to promote the game on Twitter, who spend our time making gifs of great moments, goals and, er, not so great moments – pushing out the word that New Zealand has a football championship and it can be bloody good fun to watch.

What’s worse, of course, is that the NZFC clubs PAY SKY TO HAVE GAMES TELEVISED.

Last season the clubs, already run on tight budgets, shelled out $25,000 EACH to have one game a week televised and a highlights show – with the highlights then going on YouTube after they had been broadcast on Sky’s Tuesday night show.

This year, they’re not even getting that. It means that once the ISPS Handa Premiership Highlights show for Round 1 screens for the final time, that’s your lot.

Of course, there’s is one way to view it. Sign up for a pricey Sky Sports Package and have access to Sky GO (which doesn’t currently have the highlights uploaded) and the Sky Highlights App. If you can’t afford that, well, you’ve got your two minutes a week.

Last season there was a stoush as Sky didn’t live broadcast one of the NZFC semi-finals. Instead, Patrick Barnes streamed the game on YouTube, only to be hit with copyright notices and threats of legal action the minute the game had ended.

This week, Ian Munro of the excellent Bay Days Podcast Twitter-streamed some of not televised Hawkes Bay United v WeeNix with colour commentary from him and his mate. Until they were informed, no, Sky’s got the rights to this – you can’t do that.

[Furious expletive filled rant about the stupidity of paying Sky to televise the game in the interests of promoting it, only to end up locking all the footage behind a paywall deleted]

This is a rort, a rip-off and a dirty damn shame for football in New Zealand. Worst of all it’s choking off one of the simplest ways that people can promote the game, by letting others watch it.


Categories: NZ Men's National League

John Palethorpe

8 replies

  1. Whilst I agree this is a step backwards from last season, it’s not correct that we are in a worse state than we were three years ago.

    All the content that was on last year is still available for SKY subscribers. Infact it’s better with the introduction of goal highlights on the highlights app.

    Again not great considering last year, but at least present correct facts

    1. For non-Sky subscribers it is worse than we were three years ago. And I do point out the Highlights App and Sky Go in the piece. But it’s fenced in, and cannot be shared – you know, like you need to if you want to grow the game’s presence.

  2. The worst thing about this, is NZ Football paying Sky TV and giving away all of the rights. This does nothing to promote the game and Sky is all about protecting what they have.

  3. Is there any reason why they changed it from the format they had last year? I don’t have Sky so I can’t see anything anymore and that means less exposure for the league. Are the clubs happy about this situation?

  4. This is frustrating but not really surprising. If you are SKY and wanting people to buy SKY packages having the highlights online (which is really all anyone is after) does not help you sell SKY subscriptions does it?

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