Rugby World Cup 2019: Spark warns customers to 'get in quick'

The countdown is on for not only the All Blacks, but also Spark Sport, New Zealand broadcast rights holder for the Rugby World Cup.

Just a month out from the start of the tournament in Japan, the country's newest player in the sports broadcasting market is urging fans to sign up now to lessen the chance of teething problems. 

Speaking to The AM Show, Spark Sport head Jeff Latch said it would be dangerous for punters to leave their subscription until the 11th hour. 

"We don't want that - we don't want customers to discover they aren't quite set up correctly (to use the streaming service)," he said.

"Come in early - that is the key."

While Latch confirmed that Spark has partnered with technology retailer Noel Leeming to provide a home setup service, he is confident most potential subscribers can do it themselves. 

"They need to make sure their broadband connection is streaming ready for the house," he said.

"If they can watch Netflix or any form of streaming service then they are fine.

"They need to decide which device they want to watch on - there are apps for the telly if they have a Smart Screen or they can download the app to their phone or computer device."

Latch reiterated that new customers must sign up at the Spark Sport website before downloading apps, connecting Google Chromecast or purchasing Apple TV. 

On Tuesday, the streaming servce issued a warning to customers to make sure their HDMI cables are working.

Fans wanting to watch the World Cup can do so via Google Chromecast - a device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV, according to Spark Sport's website.

But if you're wanting to connect directly between a TV and device with an HDMI cable, there's no guarantee it will work.

A Spark spokeswoman told Stuff: "as with all customers, we definitely recommend you test your set up in advance of the tournament.

"For instance, using an HDMI cable to connect a mobile phone to a screen won't work, but using an HDMI cable to connect a laptop to a screen or TV generally will."

Spark says to cast Spark Sport to your TV, you also need the latest app installed on your device.

The telco company won the rights to broadcast the Rugby World Cup online in April 2018, taking over from long-time sports broadcaster Sky.

"This is going to be the most-covered Rugby World Cup in history," Latch said.

"There's far more content available in terms of behind-the-scenes interviews with players and coaches."


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