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Press Release




Sky Sport to showcase Piha Pro and all major WSL events for NZ fans

Sky Sport and WSL sign three-year deal for broadcast rights and event partnership
Sky Sport Piha Pro New Zealand Trials to give local surfers the opportunity to compete in WSL Challenger Series event this March 

The World Surf League is excited to announce that Sky Sport New Zealand will be a major sponsor and broadcast partner for the upcoming Corona Piha Pro Challenger Series event this March.  
The partnership is part of a new three-year deal that will also see Sky Sport hold exclusive broadcast rights in New Zealand for WSL’s major global live events along with other WSL owned content. Sky Sport will also be the naming right sponsor of the Piha Pro New Zealand Trials event which will give four local surfers the opportunity to compete in the major Challenger Series event this March.

Tex Teixeira, Sky’s Chief Content Officer, says, “Surfing is a growth sport and as a key sponsor for the Piha Pro and with broadcast rights for a huge range of international events and other content, we’re supporting surfing at all levels and making this exciting sport more accessible to more fans through Sky Sport, Sky Sport Now and Sky Go with some great content free-to-air on Prime.

“We know the last time New Zealand hosted a surfing event of the scale of Piha Pro, there was a huge surge in the number of people taking up surfing. Ensuring every New Zealand fan can be inspired by seeing local and global stars compete on the waves here and around the world, is an exciting proposition for Sky Sport.”

Andrew Stark, General Manager WSL Australia Pacific says, “Our competitions around the world showcase sheer skill and human courage in some of the most exciting locations on Earth.  With Sky Sport on board we can bring Kiwi fans the thrill of our Men’s and Women’s Championship Tour events including The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and the Billabong Pipe Masters, to name a few. These will sit with other great content on Sky Sport such as our Surf Ranch sessions and Big Wave Strike Missions, not to mention the inaugural Corona Piha Pro Challenger Series event.

The Sky Sport Piha Pro New Zealand Trials will see 32 of New Zealand’s most promising surfing talents battle for a spot in the World Surf League Challenger Series event. Sixteen surfers will be selected for each a men’s and women’s trials event with the top two from each trial awarded a wildcard spot into the main event.

“New Zealand is a country with an emerging talent pool of competitive surfers and this trials event will give four of the most promising talents a huge opportunity to compete on the world stage,” continued Stark. “WSL sees opportunities like this as a way to give back to the local surfing communities who share their waves with us. Engaging with surfers not only in the Piha and Auckland area but also from all over New Zealand is really important to the WSL.”

The WSL has worked closely with Surfing New Zealand to ensure that the most relevant surfer’s from around the country will find themselves a spot in the trials event. Each individual spot will be awarded to a surfer who has received a specific accolade in the previous 12 months. Surfing New Zealand President Chris Fougere looks forward to seeing the Kiwi contingent take it to the world’s best.

“The Piha Pro Trials is a huge opportunity for our aspiring young surfers to join New Zealand’s best in the main event,” Fougere said. “We ensured that the trials formula comprised a mix of our future stars, top New Zealand based talent and local surfers from the Auckland Region with multiple chances for surfers from around the country to qualify.”

The Sky Sport Piha Pro New Zealand Trials will run on March 15, in the lead up to the Corona Piha Pro Challenger Series event which will run from March 16 through March 22, 2020. Please visit WorldSurfLeague.com or download the free WSL App for more information on these events and the newly announced WSL Challenger Series.

The Piha Pro is proudly supported by our partners at Corona, Sky Sport, New Zealand Major Events, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

Sky Sport Piha Pro New Zealand Trials Selection
3x WSL QS surfer (previous year’s rankings)
2x WSL Pro Junior Surfers (previous year’s rankings)
3x NZ Surf Series (previous year’s rankings)
2x National Championships (current year)
1x NZ Grom Series Under 18 (previous year’s rankings)
1x SISA Series (previous year’s rankings)
1x Aotearoa Maori Titles (previous year)
1x Piha surfer from NZ Surf Series (previous year’s rankings)
1x Surfer from Auckland Championships (previous year)
1x WSL Wildcard (Selected by Surfing NZ and WSL)