January 5 - Sky Network Television Ltd., New Zealand’s largest pay television company, will broadcast this year's Commonwealth Games after agreeing to buy the rights from Television New Zealand (TVNZ).

TVNZ, a Government-owned corporation television network was looking to offload them after it was estimated that the state broadcaster faced a NZ$5 million (£2 million) loss on the event in New Delhi, which is due to take place between October 3 and 14.

Sky, who are part owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, paid NZ$5.5 million (£2.5 million) for the rights, half of what TVNZ paid.

They will offer 12 hours of free-to-air live coverage each day on its Prime channel, and will have five pay channels with 24 hour coverage, the Auckland-based company said.

Overall, plans to devote more than 1,400 hours of television coverage to the Games.

There will also be highlights packages on various channels and extensive internet and mobile phone coverage.

Chief executive John Fellet said the combination of free-to-air and pay television coverage would provide New Zealanders with ''more extensive and comprehensive coverage than they have ever seen before''.

Mike Stanley, the President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NOZC), claimed the transfer of broadcast rights will bring new levels of coverage of the Commonwealth Games to New Zealanders.

He said: "Like the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games is a sporting event that brings the nation together.

"Sky Television plans to air close to 1,600 hours sporting action on a combination of pay and free-to-air television - not to mention on-line and mobile phone access.

"We're excited about their upcoming coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and the Commonwealth Games coverage will be even more extensive."

Stanley said that the alignment of both the Commonwealth and Olympic Games broadcast rights has broad commercial benefits.

He said: "The adding of the Commonwealth Games rights to the Sky Sport platform provides a consistent link between Games for our commercial partners and will deliver an enhanced commercial product."

In addition to coverage of the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver next month and the Commonwealth Games in October, Sky Television will broadcast the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011 and the London Olympics in 2012.

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September 2009:
 Viewers in New Zealand may have to pay to watch Commonwealth Games
April 2008: Murdoch company to be host broadcaster for 2011 World Cup