The top level of domestic football comes to television screens regularly for the first time this summer with New Zealand Football confirming on Thursday live coverage of selected matches of the ASB Premiership on SKY Sport.
The New Zealand sports broadcaster will carry 32 of the competition’s 59 matches live throughout the 2015-2016 ASB Premiership season with at least two matches per round to be shown while a weekly 30-minute highlights package will also be part of the schedule.
The televised action begins on Sunday 8 November with Auckland rivals Auckland City FC and Waitakere United meeting at QBE Stadium and from there the season will include a weekly televised Thursday night clash with another game covered live on Sunday afternoons.
Our first televised match will be the home game against Team Wellington on Sunday November 15. The match is set for Gower Park in Hamilton and kicks off at 4.35pm.
The March 2016 semi-finals and the Thursday night grand final will also be shown live.
New Zealand Football CEO Andy Martin hailed the deal as a major step in the national body’s work raising the profile of football in this country.
“We have repeatedly stated it is our aim to increase the popularity and visibility of football in New Zealand,” Martin said.
“To do that, we need to successfully link our exceptionally strong grassroots base to the international game. This is where our top level domestic competition comes in.
“By getting the ASB Premiership on television regularly, we increase our ability to showcase the pathway available to our players and we can begin to create local heroes for our young players to aspire to on their journey towards the All Whites.”
New Zealand Football Commercial Director Steve Brebner said the game is set to benefit from the increased profile brought by the television deal.
“We have worked closely with SKY over the last year to develop a partnership which provides unprecedented access to our sport for the football community,” Brebner said.
This broadcast deal will help increase the popularity, profile and visibility of football which will help connect more Kiwis to the game, something which will have a positive impact for all our stakeholders.”
Director of Sport at SKY Television, Richard Last, is delighted to have domestic football on the network’s schedule.
“Football continues to grow in popularity throughout the country and SKY Sport are excited to be showcasing the domestic game, which features established and evolving rivalries between cities and regions” said Last.
“Showcasing local teams filled with home-grown and imported players on SKY Sport has clear benefits for New Zealand Football and we’re excited to be involved.”