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TVNZ Takes New Team NZ Partnership Role

TVNZ is to reposition its relationship with Team New Zealand to allow a new sponsor to be introduced. One of the founding sponsors of Team New Zealand, TVNZ will now be recognised as a Partner of the sailing team and will retain its broadcasting rights and commercial opportunities for America's Cup 2003.

Announcing the change today, TVNZ Chief Executive Rick Ellis said the decision to relinquish TVNZ signage associated with the team and open the door for additional funding was taken solely by TVNZ and would greatly assist Team New Zealand to stage a successful defence of the America's Cup in 2003.

The repositioning decision was made by TVNZ because Team New Zealand requires a considerably higher level of sponsorship than in previous campaigns.

"While the TV ONE brand will no longer be seen on the side of the black boats, TV ONE will still be the official broadcaster of the America's Cup bringing the excitement of the event to all New Zealanders. TVNZ will also work with ESPN to provide host broadcasting pictures for television audiences around the world."

"New Zealanders are well aware of TV ONE's role in bringing the America's Cup into their homes. We don't need to take valuable signage space to get that message across but we have retained all the commercial benefits of our association with Team New Zealand," said Mr Ellis.

Team New Zealand Chief Executive Ross Blackman said TVNZ's sponsorship had been at the heart of the Family of Five since it was formed in 1990 and that pivotal role would continue

"Team New Zealand appreciates TVNZ's magnanimous decision to assume a new partnership role while continuing to support the team to the same level it has in the past. TVNZ was instrumental in establishing the Family of Five a decade ago and will continue to enjoy a strong relationship with our sponsors.

"TVNZ's gesture has enabled Team New Zealand to pursue a new Family of Five sponsor that we look forward to announcing in the near future," said Mr Blackman.

The Government's Minister for the America's Cup Trevor Mallard also commended TVNZ for its decision to open the way for additional funding opportunities, describing it as a "win-win" situation for both the broadcaster and the team.

"TVNZ has played an important role in New Zealand's proud America's Cup history by not only supporting Team New Zealand, but also galvanising the nation behind our successful team.

"The last America's Cup produced measurable benefits to the country. TVNZ's selfless decision to make its signage position available for the benefit of the campaign funding will undoubtedly help Team New Zealand's quest to successfully defend the Cup again in 2003," said Mr Mallard.

ends

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