Writing at Fairfax's BusinessDay site, Tom Pullar-Strecker reports on a joint Spark-TVNZ bid for the broadcasting rights for the next Rugby World Cup. The tournament will be held in Japan in late 2019.

Meanwhile the New Zealand Herald says Spark and TVNZ have discussed buying rights to domestic New Zealand Rugby fixtures from the 2020 season on.

Either bid could see Sky TV cut adrift from New Zealand's favourite sporting code. This would, in turn, have implications for its relationship with Vodafone TV.

It would have wider implications for Vodafone which now sponsors the All Blacks and has a four year deal for digital rights to New Zealand Rugby.

He says the deal would give TVNZ the free-to-air broadcast rights with Spark being able to stream games over broadband.

Neither Spark nor TVNZ would confirm the story. However, Spark told Pullar-Strecker the company is interested in media properties and that includes sports.

This wouldn't be Spark's first foray into streaming sports content. The company's Lightbox Sports previously worked with Coliseum Sports Media which had the rights for English Premier League coverage. More recently giant technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google have made bids for worldwide rights to major sports events.