A significant fall in advertisement sales in wake of the novel Coronavirus pandemic has reportedly compelled the New Zealand Cricket radio rights partner – Radio Sport – to shut operational.
The radio station, owned by the nation’s prominent multiple media outlets owner New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME), has been closed with immediate effect.
The decision, according to the Radio Sports owners, had come as a result of a significant reduction in advertising sales, caused by the ongoing coronavirus lockdown in the country.
Radio Sport held rights for premier sports content like a large range of cricket, rugby and football properties in New Zealand. The studios were locked down on Monday.
NZME announced on the decision on the Radio Sport website. The statement read that following the cancellation or suspension of “virtually all local, national and international events and competitions”, the company had had to carefully asses the level of its sports coverage.
“NZME has made the incredibly difficult decision to stop broadcasting Radio Sport from 1pm (30 March 2020). Radio Sport frequencies will now carry Newstalk ZB programming indefinitely,” read the statement.
“With the cancellation and suspension of virtually all local, national and international events and competitions, NZME has been forced to look closely at the level of sports coverage, including live events across all platforms.
“NZME has been working hard to avoid this but the reality of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis is that these decisions have to be made.”
Earlier last week, NZME had announced a partnership with Sky TV to bring more “sporting content to even more Kiwis”.
For the duration of March, NZME is broadcasting two of Sky Sport’s flagship shows on its digital and radio platforms, the company had then stated.
Radio Sport was also the exclusive radio rights partner for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in the territory of New Zealand.