Are you match ready? Connect your TV to fibre
Last year Spark and TVNZ won the rights to broadcast Rugby World Cup 2019 and there’s now a new online streaming service called Spark Sport – this is the only place you’ll be able to watch all 48 matches live.
Spark Sport is an independent online streaming service - like Netflix – and you don’t have to be a Spark broadband customer to use the streaming service. There are a lot of ways you can stream the matches but the key is not leaving it until the last minute.
Here’s what you should do now, to be match fit come tournament time.
Get on the very best broadband connection you can at your place. We recommended fibre for the best big screen streaming experience. There are lots of broadband providers selling great value fibre broadband plans.
Make sure you’ve got the right devices to watch – check out our list below.
Test your set-up in advance to the tournament.
Sign up for a tournament pass and download the Spark Sport app.
Why is fibre the best for streaming the matches?
If you can get fibre at your house we believe this is the best technology option for streaming. This is important if you have multiple people streaming at the same time on multiple devices as you’ll want to make sure you have enough speed and capacity come game time. Spark Sport recommended broadband speeds can be found here.
Fibre provides a dedicated and consistently reliable connection, with speed options up to 1Gbps – New Zealand's fastest broadband. To make sure you’ve got enough capacity we recommend a 100Mbps or above plan with unlimited data – streaming gobbles up a lot of data.
Fibre installation tracker
Demand is going to be high for fibre installations in the lead up to the event. If you can get fibre but haven’t had it installed at your place then we’d recommend contacting your broadband provider and putting your order in.
Our fibre installation tracker shows how many customers we can connect to fibre before the tournament kicks off on 20 September 2019.
Standard lead times are between 10-15 days from the time you place your order, but as demand increases your installation may be scheduled for a month or more after your order has been placed. Check your address to see the lead time in your area.
If you live in an apartment, shared driveway or rental property you may require consent. This can add more time to the fibre ordering process. Find out more about consenting here.
Calculating the tracker number: We estimate we can complete 91,800 fibre connections during the 27 week period from 11 March (the date on which our fibre installation tracker launched) and 15 September (the Sunday prior to the first game of the Rugby World Cup this year). This estimate is calculated by reference to our average installation completion rate of 3,400 fibre connections to Kiwi homes and businesses per week. On this basis, the estimate is indicative only. It may be affected by operational factors like changes in productivity and supplier capacity and factors outside of our control like weather events, natural disasters and major unplanned network outages. The tracker will countdown each week by 3,400 at a rate of approximately one every 3 minutes. In addition, for greater accuracy each month we will update the tracker with reconciled data. This will take into account the volume of orders placed, actual supplier capacity, how we anticipate this will impact installation slots and in turn the number of remaining connections we can complete.
Popular streaming services
Spark Sport is a new sport streaming service that will offer global and local sport live and on demand. Spark has confirmed sports through the service will include the Rugby World Cup 2019, English Premier League, F1 and the FIA World Rally Championship. Monthly subscriptions will be $19.99 per month with package details for the Rugby World Cup to be announced in April. Spark Sport offers a free trial.
Fan Pass is available on a range of devices (from phones to Smart TVs) and is pretty easy to use. You get high definition broadcasts of Sky Sport channels 1 to 4 and some on-demand highlights, all without a Sky TV subscription. And you can also access pay-per-view content. The six-month package is a reasonable $55.99 per month and that is usually enough to cover you for a sports season like Super Rugby and All Blacks tests or the NRL. A stand-alone month is a bit more pricey at $99.99.
NFL GamePass - American football
The NFL last season offered an array of packages for live and on-demand HD streams. An entire season is priced at a reasonable $US79.99, or you could follow one team for $US49.99 or even get a quick dip seven-day pass for $US19.99. The app is available on most mobile devices, browsers, and some media boxes, such as Apple TV.
MLB TV - baseball
The 2019 Major League Baseball season is about to start and there’s so many options here for fans. When watching on-demand games you can skip between innings and scoring plays. You can choose between home and away broadcast commentary. Extra content including highlight packages and specially edited games is also available. The service is called MLB TV, the app is called MLB At Bat. Last year a season cost $US112.99.
NBA League Pass - basketball
This season there were three main viewing options: you could get the entire season for $NZ324.99, or follow one team only (good if you want to watch Steven Adams and the OKC Thunder!) for $NZ184.99 or get a restricted version that offers eight games a month for $NZ119.99. The app is available on most mobile devices, browsers, and some media boxes, such as Apple TV.
Golf TV – golf
This new service is the international version of PGA Tour Live which used to cover just the early rounds of a golf tournament but offered decent behind-the-scenes coverage and highlights. Golf TV advances golf coverage for Kiwi subscribers so you can watch live coverage of entire tournaments, specified highlights, including a favourite player, featured groups of your choosing, even featured holes at big events. Coverage includes the PGA Tour, Seniors Tour and Web.com Tour.
beIN Sports - football
This is the ultimate home for football fans. The price structure is simple – $NZ197.80 for a year or $NZ19.78 a month (given football goes for 10 months of the year, it’s neither here nor there what you choose). You get great value for money – especially if you’re following a team outside the English Premier League. You get Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, La Liga as well as lower tier English leagues. This is also available as part of a Sky subscription for a higher fee and watching via Sky is the only way to get HD coverage.
What is sport streaming?
The way we are watching sports is changing! It’s now easier than ever to watch your favourite sports live or on-demand through streaming. Streaming is a technology used to deliver content to your screen over the internet. Streaming transmits audio and video data as a continuous flow, which allows you to begin watching almost immediately. Depending on what sports you’re passionate about, there’s a bunch of pay-as-you-go streaming apps that bring you an array of sport at high-speed and in high definition with many offering a buffet of choices as to how you watch.
How can I stream sports?
To stream sports effectively you will need to be connected to the internet for the full duration of the game. You will need a fast and reliable broadband connection, and a suitable download limit for the amount of data you will use. Check to see if you are on the best available broadband connection.
An internet enabled device
To watch streaming content you’ll need an internet enabled device like a casting stick, a streaming box or a smart TV. Your home WiFi set up is also important to consider, as well as the age of your devices and the number of devices you’re using at the same time.
Your favourite content
Different streaming apps have the rights to different sports selections, so make sure you do your homework and check that your preferred service has your favourite sports. If you’re new to streaming content, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. Check out the list above for some of the major players.
Tips for watching
How to set up your TV
Our resident tech expert Kurt Rodgers will show you how to set up your TV for the best streaming experience.
- Get on the best broadband connection available
- Plug your modem directly into your TV
- Get an unlimited data plan
What you’ll need
Learn how to connect your streaming device or smart TV to your modem.
Is your address match ready?
Frequently asked questions
- What is fibre?
- Can I get fibre at my house?
- Do I need to prepare anything for my fibre installation?
- What is Fibre pro and how does it work?
- Why do some areas get fibre before others?
- Fibre isn’t available at my place, when can I get it?
- How much will my installation cost?
- What is an ONT and where should I install it?
- What can affect my broadband performance?
- I don’t have a broadband provider, how do I get one?
- Why is 100Mbps or more the best option for streaming?
- How much data do I need for streaming?
- Is streaming legal?
- How does fibre improve the streaming experience?
- How do I stop streams from buffering?
- How do I get set up for streaming?
- How can I make my normal TV a Smart TV?