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America's Cup organisers block Youtube for seven days for Kiwi fans

by Sail-World on 16 Sep 2011
New Zealand viewers are blocked from seeing action like this from Racing Day 2 - America’s Cup World Series, Plymouth - Day 2 Ricardo Pinto http://www.americascup.com

America's Cup Event organisers have confirmed a seven day block on full commentated coverage 'available' for New Zealand fans on Youtube from the America's Cup World series in Plymouth.

The reasons for the block have now been confirmed and stem from the fact that America's Cup Events Authority have signed a broadcast agreement with local broadcaster, Television New Zealand. TVNZ were the first broadcaster to be signed for public broadcast.

Since the signing of that agreement all live Youtube coverage was blocked to New Zealand viewers, presumably because there was supposed to be a public broadcast available. TVNZ had been quite open with its broadcast schedules (published in Sail-World) and were only intending to run live coverage of the final day (which because of time zones occurs in the early hours of the morning in NZ).

After complaints to Sail-World and other public domain comment America's Cup Event organisers were made aware of the issue coupled with the fact that there was no public broadcast in New Zealand, and the only option for NZ fans was to watch replay racing when it was posted on YouTube.

On Wednesday that too, was blocked - and replay coverage of the first two days which featured some of the most spectacular racing seen in the sport was blocked from the New Zealand fans.

On Friday morning, after inquiries by Sail-World it was confirmed that all commentated coverage on YouTube would be blocked to New Zealand fans for a period of seven days. This ban apparently stems from the fact that as Television New Zealand holds a public broadcast right in New Zealand part of their contract with America's Cup Event organisers. The block applies even if TVNZ do not broadcast.

TVNZ have confirmed that they will only be broadcasting one day of racing - the final Sunday fleet race - an event that is expected to last for just 40 minutes.

The bottom line for New Zealand fans, by far the world's keenest for America's Cup broadcast, is that they will now be able to see any full coverage of any America's Cup or World series racing for a period of seven days, unless they get up in the middle of the night (0200hrs NZT) to watch on the Web.

Television viewership in New Zealand of America's Cup racing - draws a very large proportion of the viewing audience - believed to be close to 40% when the Cup was being sailed in New Zealand, and the audience has developed since full live broadcasting started in 1987. All Louis Vuitton and America's Cup races have been broadcast live in New Zealand since the opening race of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 1986 in Fremantle.


Earlier, Sail-World complained again to Event Organisers and assurances were given that the block that was also placed on the live coverage would be lifted.

The blocks on New Zealand located viewers seeing the first two days of spectacular racing in replay remain in place, and the third day of racing has also now been blocked.

No notice was posted of the blocking actions by America's Cup Event organisers and frustrated Kiwi fans were online early in the morning on the first two days of the regatta only to be greeted with the a coverage blocked message on the New Zealand online live coverage feed, and regular programming schedules - which included extended plays of the BBC News on TVNZ.

The only coverage currently available to NZ fans of the racing are the profanity riddled on-board audio versions. Or fans can watch the Virtual Eye graphics coverage.

Highlight packages are also available.

At this stage the only options open to Kiwi fans are through direct complaints to Television New Zealand and the America's Cup Event Authority.

Sail-World will continue to run its coverage of the event, which will include the showing of some America's Cup coverage on its stand 223 at the Auckland International Boat Show - however due to the level of profanity in the on board audio we cannot broadcast that coverage in a public place, and will be featuring full length replays of Extreme 40's and the Extreme Sailing Series instead.

Sail-World will, of course continue its coverage - without a seven day block - to keep our readers informed of the latest developments in the racing. Sail-World will be taking reports from Bob Fisher and Ben Gladwell - who arrives in Plymouth Friday evening.

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