15 Oct 2009

Political heat taken out of RWC TV bid for now

9:03 am on 15 October 2009

Ruffled feathers have been smoothed somewhat with an agreement to lodge a joint bid for the 2011 Rugby World Cup TV rights.

Maori Television will lead the bid for the free-to-air rights, with both Television New Zealand and TV3 playing a role.

Prime Minister John Key stepped in on Thursday before a bidding war between the two state broadcasters could progress any further.

A new tender will be submitted once the details have been finalised.

Radio New Zealand's Parliamentary chief reporter says this has eased political tensions, with Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples saying the agreement restores the mana of Maori TV.

Mr Key admits the process has not been good and says National Party ministers can take some responsibility.