Wednesday Aug 17, 2016
Although New Zealand taxpayers are funding athletes to compete in Rio, people are feeling cheated over the lack of public coverage.
Aucklanders on the street were unimpressed, Technician Stephen Butterworth, 46, says, “ I don’t think it’s fair that people don’t get free coverage.” The sentiment is shared by teacher Mitzi Borren, 29, claiming, “My instinct is that I think it should be open to all New Zealanders to watch”.
Sky TV has exclusive rights to broadcasting the 2016 Olympic Games in New Zealand, accessible only through a subscription service. Free to air coverage is sparse and restricted to selected highlights on Prime television. Notably these highlights fail to include all of New Zealand athletes’ performances.
Over the last four years, the government has invested $133 million into our athletes through HPSNZ (High Performance Sport New Zealand) with another $87 million that has been put forward for coaches and athletes through Performance Enhancement Grants.
With the taxpayers putting so much towards our elite athletes, it is no surprise that the public is bitter over the lack of free to air broadcasting.
– Sean Stapleton in association with Cassidy Makonio