Despite its huge role as host broadcaster for the America's Cup, Television New Zealand will not be using any video from the event online.
The broadcaster's emerging Web portal strategy has been heavily geared towards streaming video - including live Webcasts of Apec speeches by Bill Clinton and Jiang Zhemin - but it decided six months ago that video would not feature in its online coverage of the yachting.
Under the labyrinth marketing and management structure of the Cup event, AC2000, which is organising the America's Cup on behalf of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, has been jointly marketing rights to the event with International Management Group (IMG), the world’s largest sports management firm, and its TV division, TWI.
Among the rights being licensed are those for Internet video - which are limited to three minutes per day. TVNZ's AC2000 project manager Paul Wilson says the company did not regard the additional license fee for Web use as warranted and will be providing more "basic" coverage.
The rights to video from the event have been the subject of discussion for nearly two years. TVNZ originally approached Telecom Internet Services with the idea that, given that they were both members of Team New Zealand's "Family of Five" sponsors, they should create a joint America's Cup Website.
Telecom appeared to be interested, but eventually decided that it would partner with the US Internet sports specialist Quokka Sports for an official AC2000 site, which will carry video from each day's racing.
Meanwhile, to further complicate matters, TWI's Internet division TWI Interactive will itself be running the official Louis Vuitton Cup Website, which will carry three minutes of daily video from the challenger series.
The Louis Vuitton series is being organised by the America's Cup Challengers' Association, which is also working in partnership with Virtual Spectator, a New Zealand company formed to sell a live 3D animation service developed by Dunedin's Animation Research and Auckland's Terabyte Interactive.
The official AC2000 site developed by Telecom and Quokka is at www.americascup.org, the Louis Vuitton site is at www.louisvuittoncup.com and Virtual Spectator is at www.virtualspectator.com.
There are also more than a dozen other Cup-related domain names registered under .com, org and .nz, some of which are being used for independent Cup sites.