A South Auckland rugby club has come under fire from Sky Television for ‘illegally’ streaming the All Blacks versus Samoa Test match.
Around 300 people gathered at the Otahuhu Rugby Club to watch the match, when the broadcast dropped out in the 72nd minute, the New Zealand Herald has reported.
It is understood a person associated with the club had taken their personal decoder to the club rooms, which Sky says is piracy, and therefore illegal.
A Sky spokesperson told the Herald it pays big money to secure sporting rights, and if these rights are not respected this has implications for the sport.
Rights fees support player salaries and keep the best players in New Zealand, as well as building strong promotion and talent development, the spokesperson said.
However Otahuhu Rugby Club president John Roache said the idea to stream the match was simply to serve the community, and no profit was made.
Money from the purchase of tables, that included light refreshments, went towards the hire of a big screen by the decoder supplier and to cover a live band that provided music on the night.
Sky has contacted the club asking it to take out a subscription, which costs around $350 per month.
Mr Roache told the Herald that signing "a contract for one year is crazy", and they can't afford to do that since the club is hardly used.
He said there would be no point since no profit was made on the night, so they would have to sacrifice more money from an already scarce fund. With the rugby season over, the subscription would be irrelevant, he said.
Otahuhu Rugby Club has 20 financial members, with around 400 players who do not pay subscriptions, forcing the club to fundraiser heavily during the season.