The Government must be clear about its policy on free to air sport, given NZ First has promised to implement it while Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran has said it is not a priority, National’s Sport and Recreation Spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“National has always recognised that the money from selling broadcasting rights is important to the sporting codes. The minute the Government tries to force greater access to coverage, it must pay for it.

“While National did not campaign on a free to air sport policy, NZ First promised it would be a non-negotiable demand in its coalition discussions.

“But shortly after becoming Minister, Clare Curran said it was not a priority for the Government.

“This issue is further confused with today’s news that Sky TV is not the preferred bidder to broadcast the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

“It’s important to respect the tender process, however Ms Curran must be clear about whether the Government will provide additional funding to ensure greater access to either Rugby World Cup coverage or free to air sport as promised by Labour’s coalition partner.

“Labour has promised additional funds for broadcasting so they need to be clear whether any of these funds will be used for greater access to sporting matches.

“Taxpayers deserve transparency from this Government, but if recent events are anything to go by I wouldn’t hold my breath.”

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