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Sky Sport to broadcast Tuatara games

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Sky Sport will broadcast all 20 Auckland Tuatara home games in the Australian Baseball League as well as available games out of Australia in a new deal announced today.

The new broadcast deal will ensure fans of New Zealand’s newest sporting franchise are able to watch games live on Sky Sport and stream it via Sky Sport Now, adding more exciting content to Sky’s extensive sport line-up.

Auckland Tuatara chief executive Regan Wood said the decision to work with Sky Sport was the first and only priority for the franchise when they started thinking about a broadcast partner.

"If you want to be serious about broadcasting sport in New Zealand then Sky Sport is the place to be," Wood said. "They have been very supportive of what we are trying to do and we are delighted to be working with them this summer.

"Kiwi baseball fans will get to watch all home games and as many games out of Australia that are available to Sky Sport and that will have a big impact on the sport overall.

"That is what the Tuatara concept was all about - growing the game here and creating pathways to professional baseball."

Broadcaster Mark Watson will serve as play-by-play commentator while former major league pitcher and Tuatara player Josh Collmenter will split duties with New Zealand-based former pro players Scott Campbell and Randy Yard for expert comments.

Home games this season will be played across seven innings in a new initiative aimed at making them as broadcast friendly as possible and catering for the changing consumption habits of sports fans.

"Professional sport is so cut-throat that you just have to move with the times and do what will pique interest for your audience," Wood added.

"We are in the entertainment game and we need to provide a product that will command the greatest interest possible. In conjunction with Sky and the ABL we have decided to trial seven innings games this season."

The ABL have supported the initiative as the league looks at ways to grow the amount of games broadcast.

"We need to keep pace with changing world of live sports broadcasting and that means thinking about how best to package your product," ABL boss Cam Vale said.

"We see this concept of seven innings games in Auckland as a trial and will be keeping a close eye to see how it works.

"We know that broadcasters want concise, two-hour packages because that garners the biggest audience and this could be a glimpse into the future."

The Tuatara play five four-game series at North Harbour Stadium in Albany over a 10-week period this summer between November and January.

The season begins with a series against the Perth Heat starting Thursday November 21 and features additional series against the Canberra Cavalry, Sydney Blue Sox, Geelong Korea and four-time reigning ABL champions Brisbane Bandits.


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