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  • Sky TV has expanded into the global rugby market after it obtained RugbyPass
  • Sky TV could potentially pay up to US$40 million for the purchase
  • The sale is due to be finalised on August 19

Sky TV has expanded into the global rugby market after it obtained RugbyPass, the largest online rugby network in the world.

RugbyPass is the premier online destination for global rugby fans, offering live streaming rugby services across Asia, Europe, and Australia.

It also has a wide range of original video content, analysis, stats, news, and rugby player and team ranking systems.

In 2017 and 2018, RugbyPass purchased several popular rugby properties such as Rugby Dump, Rugby365, Fantasy Rugger, and Rugby Onslaught. These purchases propelled RugbyPass into becoming the largest independent English-language rugby platform in the world.

This network now reaches tens of millions of rugby fans across its social media channels and millions of users across its websites.

Sky TV will pay US$10 million in cash upfront, issue US$20 million worth of stock, and pay up to a further US$10 million based on the performance of the platform.

The new Chief Executive of Sky, Martin Stewart, has doubled down on efforts to keep control of the local rugby audience which has been cut back by Spark New Zealand.

Spark swooped into the premium sports market by nabbing the rights to stream the 2019 World Cup.

Sky has launched 12 new sports channels this month, a sports news channel, and a new sport streaming service.

Martin said the purchase would let Sky expand beyond New Zealand borders and create new opportunities.

“Sky’s ambitions around growth are heavily focused on digital services and broadening our reach,” Martin said.

“The acquisition of RugbyPass allows us to extend Sky’s reach beyond New Zealand borders and opens up significant opportunities for Sky and for our partners,” he said

RugbyPass will now become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sky with the sale due to be completed on August 19.

Sky shares are up 1.29 per cent today, currently trading for $1.18 apiece in a $453.3 million market cap.

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