Get ready to watch the Rugby World Cup 2019

For the first time, most Rugby World Cup games will only be available online. But don’t worry – getting sorted for the event is easy. We’ve pulled together a quick guide to help!

How do I watch Rugby World Cup 2019?

Select games will be broadcast free-to-air, but if you want to catch all the action live you’ll need three things:

Spark Sport Rugby World Cup Network

We’ve invested millions of dollars in our network to ensure streaming experiences are world class. RWC content will be streamed from our four data centres in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch to make sure you are close to the action.

A suitable internet connection

For a crisp, uninterrupted stream, you’ll need a fast internet connection. ADSL (the original generation of broadband) is the bare minimum, but it might not cut it. VDSL is better, but a fibre connection is ideal. Ask your provider if you can get fibre in your area or check out Slingshot’s plans. We’ve invested heavily in our infrastructure to make the experience as smooth as possible—we’re confident that our network will be raring to go come kick off.

In technical terms, a download speed of a minimum of 6Mbps on a mobile and 15Mbps on a smart TV is recommended. If your connection isn’t fast enough, your stream will automatically adjust to a lower video quality.

Stream Rugby World Cup 2019

Access to Spark Sport

You’ll need a Spark Sport Rugby World Cup 2019 pass, but you don't need to be a Spark broadband or mobile customer. You can buy a pass to stream individual games, or a complete tournament pass to stream all the games live or on-demand.

Device Streaming Rugby World Cup

A device to watch on

Unless you want to be huddled around your phone or laptop come game-time, you’ll want to make sure you can watch the games on your TV. Currently Spark Sport is only available via your computer’s web browser and apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices with support for smart TV apps promised in the next few months.

To easily watch on your TV, a Chromecast or Apple TV is the order of the day.

Want to know more?

TVNZ will broadcast 12 of the 48 games free-to-air (seven of them live and five on a one-hour delay) which includes all the All Blacks pool and knock-out matches:

  • 20 September – Japan v Russia – Live
  • 21 September – New Zealand v South Africa - Delayed
  • 28 September – Tonga v Argentina – Live
  • 2 October – New Zealand v Canada – Delayed
  • 4 October – South Africa v Italy – Live
  • 6 October – New Zealand v Namibia – Delayed
  • 9 October – Fiji v Wales – Live
  • 12 October – New Zealand v Italy – Delayed
  • TBC - New Zealand’s Quarter Final, assuming the team progress past the pool stage – Delayed
  • 26 October – Semi Final – Live
  • 27 October – Semi Final – Live
  • 2 November – Final – Live

Check out the full fixture list.

If you only want to watch the All Blacks and don’t mind the one-hour delay, this will be sweet for you – but if you want more games and live coverage, you’ll need to stream these via Spark Sport.

You will need the Spark Sport app, but you do not need to be a Spark broadband or mobile customer. You can buy a pass to stream individual games, or a complete tournament pass to stream all games live or on-demand.

Head to the Spark Sport website or grab the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Use an online speed tool like Speedtest. With a couple of clicks, you’ll know just how fast or slow your connection is. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll need more than that magic number of 6Mbps for a mobile and 15Mbps for TV viewing. The average speed of a fixed line internet connection in New Zealand is 104Mbps.

Call your Internet Service Provider immediately (or at the very least, long before the tournament kicks off on the 20th September). They will advise you of the options available in your area; there is a very good chance you can get an upgrade.

Spark Sport have promised dedicated apps for most smart TVs are coming soon. If you don’t have a smart TV, then you’ll want to look into a Chromecast or Apple TV. These are devices that will let you stream video from your computer or mobile device to your TV using your Wi-Fi network. They’re available from all good electronic stores.

Yes, and the experience should be relatively smooth if you have 4G coverage. There is a BUT, though, and it is a big one. Using your mobile connection will likely chew through your mobile data cap quickly, and mobile data tends to be a LOT more expensive than a fibre or other fixed line connection. If possible, connect to a Wi-Fi connection over fibre or ADSL/VDSL, and use that data. With mobile, you could end up using all your data and then incurring additional costs. Such costs will depend on your data plan and provider.

Technology can be tricky; grab a millennial for personal assistance or ring the folks who provide your internet, they will be happy to talk you through it all. It’s worth getting streaming sorted, it will really make your Rugby World Cup 2019 experience smoother.

Sure! The best way to understand streaming is to think about YouTube. With YouTube, you just find a video, click on it, and it starts playing. That’s all streaming is – content which you view on demand, rather than via a TV broadcast.

Streaming a rugby game is the same: it’s formatted for the internet, and then once you have the right connection and equipment, you can access it at your leisure. If you are already using YouTube or Netflix and it works just fine, then good news: your connection is probably ready for streaming Rugby World Cup 2019.