25 Nov 2008

Investigator paid to watch Rugby World Cup

5:50 pm on 25 November 2008

It has been revealed that the Government paid a private detective to watch Rugby World Cup broadcasts last year to check whether TV3 was advertising on Sunday mornings.

The network denies three breaches of the Broadcasting Act for airing commercials during last year's tournament.

A lawyer for the Ministry of Culture and Heritage told a hearing at the Auckland District Court it asked a private investigator to monitor the broadcasts on three consecutive Sundays in October last year.

TV3 says it set up its broadcast from Paris to comply with the law, which exempts programmes broadcast in New Zealand if the main audience is overseas.

It says more than nine million people in the Pacific Islands could view the matches.

The hearing has been adjourned until January.