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Sky mum on 2011 World Cup
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Post Sky mum on 2011 World Cup - 31-March-2009, 06:52

Sky TV won't confirm or deny whether it has secured the rights to screen the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The Sunday Star-Times yesterday reported that an announcement on who would be the host broadcaster was imminent. The newspaper said it understood Sky, whose major shareholder is Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, had won the rights and would screen the entire tournament live.

Today spokesman Tony O'Brien would only say, however, that Sky did not comment on media speculation.

Roger Beaumont, spokesman for TV3's parent MediaWorks which broadcast the 2007 World Cup, said his firm believed it was still "a work in progress" as to who would screen the 2011 tournament.

To secure the 2007 broadcasting rights MediaWorks, then owned by Canada's CanWest Global, outbid a Sky-TVNZ combination. It is understood it paid the International Rugby Board about $12 million. MediaWorks, however, is now owned by Australian private equity firm Ironbridge Capital after a $790 million takeover in 2007.

Since dipping out on the 2007 tournament, pay-TV operator Sky has snapped up free-to-air channel Prime for $30.26 million strengthening its hand in bidding for major sporting events. Sky, with Prime, beat off TVNZ to secure the rights to screen the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics.
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