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Football Comes Back To Free-To-Air TV In NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Football Comes Back To Free-To-Air TV In NZ

New Zealand football fans will be able to see regular international and domestic competition on free-to-air television for the first time in over a decade from next month.

Triangle and Stratos Television and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) have signed a deal that will see a variety of football games from New Zealand, the Pacific and around the world screened on Triangle and on Stratos via its channels on Sky Digital, Freeview and Telstra Clear cable.

Jim Blackman, chief executive and cofounder of Triangle and Stratos Television, says he and his team are happy to play a key role in such an exciting initiative.

"I congratulate OFC on its courage and determination to make the sport more widely available," he says. "We are looking forward to working with OFC to screen football at its many levels."

Recent research by FIFA, football's world governing body, shows that there are more than half a million football players in the Oceania region, which covers New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu. Major matches in strongholds like the Solomon Islands regularly attract sell-out crowds of more than 20,000. Tai Nicholas, OFC's general secretary, says the joint venture will bring back quality football action and news to "free TV".

"Given that football is regarded as the World Game, I think it is highly appropriate our content will broadcast on Triangle TV - the station that specialises in culturally diverse programming from all corners of the globe," Mr Nicholas says.

"New Zealand is a multi-cultural country and Triangle and Stratos are perfectly position to leverage the passion of our various immigrant football fans from Africa, South America, the Middle East and closer to home the Pacific Islands."

Highlights and full matches of OFC's top football competitions will screen from next month, both mid-week and weekends - and will include matches from the OFC U-20 Women's Championship to be played at North Harbour Stadium from October 5.

That will be followed by OFC's Premier Club Competition - the 2009/10 O-League, which kicks off on October 17 with matches in Auckland and Noumea. The O-League this year includes eight teams - two from NZ, New Caledonia and Tahiti in Group A and Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in Group B.

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