This would be purely to indicate interest; no details had to be provided at this stage. The tournament received interest from nine different nations. Interested organisations were asked to enter a formal bid by 31 October
Spark Sport will be the only way to watch all 48 games live and it will also offer on-demand replay options. What happens if things go south? Spark and its partners have done a lot of preparation, but streaming technology is still in its relatively early days and things do sometimes go wrong, as with Optus' attempt to stream the FIFA World Cup, or Amazon's recent wobbles with the US Open.
Handily, Duke has just been upgraded to HD high definition. How does a novice like Spark handle production and commentary?
TVNZ isn't just Spark's safety-net and free-to-air vehicle. The state-owned broadcaster is also handling nearly every aspect of traditional production. TVNZ is managing the analysis and commentary team led by Sky exile Scotty "Sumo" Stevenson , and the likes of graphics and mid and post-game analysis, which will be filmed, in part, at a purpose-built studio at TVNZ.
What if I'm in a rural area with bad broadband - or anywhere with bad internet?
Spark has acknowledged that around 40, rural households just don't have good enough internet to stream the Rugby World Cup. The telco-turned-broadcaster has made three moves to help soften the blow.
It's partnered with Sky to offer a Sky Sport Rugby World Cup pop-up channel for commercial premises, so they don't have to worry about getting streaming setup like the cut-pricing, this should help ensure that lots of pubs and clubs show matches.