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SKY Television in New Zealand says it will possibly lose the rights to broadcast the next Rugby World Cup.

The company said it had been told overnight that it was not the preferred bidder for the New Zealand broadcasting rights for next year’s tournament.

It said it has been told negotiations were in progress with the preferred party, and that its bid remained in play should those negotiations fail.

Sky TV said it was disappointed not to be the preferred bidder, but it was an economic reality that it could not have every match of every sport that New Zealanders like to watch.

Sky said the Rugby World Cup was an incredibly expensive six-week event that occurred every four years, and it still had the rights to broadcast Super Rugby and domestic games, as well as All Black Tests.

Sky’s share price dropped more than 7 percent shortly after trading on the NZX opened this morning. Its shares have now fallen by about 40 per cent in the past year.

Spark and TVNZ reportedly launched a joint bid to get the rights late last year.

It is estimated that NZ Rugby earns up to $70 million a year for its television rights. The Rugby World Cup will be held over six weeks in Japan between September and November next year.

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