How To Watch Rugby World Cup 2019 In New Zealand (Step By Step Guide)

The rugby world cup 2019 is probably going to be the biggest sporting event of the year and you’ll want to get the best coverage of the All Blacks and the other teams playing. We’re starting early and showing you how to watch rugby world cup 2019 in New Zealand.

In notorious fashion Spark Sports have won rights to stream all matches live and on demand in New Zealand. TVNZ will stream a few games live on free to air which will likely include the All Blacks group games and some games no one actually wants to watch.

How To Watch Rugby World Cup 2019 NZ

The Japan Rugby World cup is only being shown on Spark Sports, a live streaming platform. 12 games which include the All blacks group stage matches and the finals will be shown free to air via TVNZ.

If you want to watch any of the other group matches then you will need to use Spark Sports.

Currently Spark Sports only works via a small number of Smart TVs, computers, mobiles and tablets. If your Smart TV supports Google Chromecast facility then you can use your mobile to cast a stream to the TV.

The problem with this is that the quality will be pretty low.

Right now Spark Sports have limited capacity for Smart TV’s and it’s unclear if they will be launching an Android or Smart TV specific apps in time for the Rugby World Cup.

If you own a Smart TV with no casting functionality and it’s not Android, Samsung or Sony then I imagine you may run into issues getting the app installed on your TV.

how to watch rugby world cup nz

The Real Problem Is Bandwidth

Last year, Optus Sports, in Australia, launched their streaming service for the football world cup and it was an absolute shit show.

Streams were buffering from day one, cutting out and sometimes even playing the wrong matches. After being shamed in the media, a Government intervention and giving free access to all Australians for one month they admitted defeat and all the games were offloaded to SBS.

Spark Sports is still in development and has no launch date.. yet anyway. Let’s hope they get their infrastructure on lock down before the tournament kicks off.

However, they can have the best infrastructure in the world but ultimately if your own internet provider isn’t coming to the party your stream will buffer. Many New Zealanders have shite internet so make sure you try and get a faster connection if you can but if you have the fastest internet in the country,

“Your ISP Could Throttle Bandwidth To Spark”

Believe it or not, dirty tactics do exist in the telecommunications industry such as Provider X deliberately throttling traffic to Spark’s streaming portal to screw them over and of course you as the consumer will suffer too.

Unfortunately it’s highly likely this will happen during the rugby world cup to give Spark bad rep at some point in the tournament. Reason being if you lost the rights for this world cup you’d sure as hell have a better chance in 4 years if it went tits up for the current broadcaster.

Look at Optus, I can safely say Foxtel Australia will be winning those rights back in 3 years.

If you’re not a Spark customer then you have no idea what your ISP is going to do until it’s too late. You won’t be fixing your internet connection half way into the match.

The solution?

How To Avoid My ISP Throttling My Connection

The easiest way to stop your ISP throttling your connection is to use a VPN as data is encrypted.

You can signup with which offers servers in both New Zealand and around the world.

Simply signup for an account, turn on the NZ VPN and access the same streaming platform and see what’s happening.

If there is no buffering then you’ll know your ISP is throttling your service or up to dirty tactics.

I always recommend using a VPN for secure browsing online and unblocking geo-blocked content.

How To Setup Your VPN
To use any of these platforms you’re going to need to use a VPN such as

  • Step 1: Signup for a 2 year plan (it’s the most cost effective)
  • Step 2: Download the app for android/tv/iOS or laptop/desktop/mac
  • Step 3: Login and access the server list, change to specific country (i.e. NZ)
  • Step 4: Visit provider website and create a free account (see below)
  • Step 5: Watch every game live and on demand instantly.

Rugby World Cup Alternatives To Spark Sports

New Zealanders have to pay to watch the Rugby World Cup which is a bit annoying given other countries can watch it for free. In the UK for example, ITV won the rights and will be streaming every game live and on demand through their web based ITV player. Other free to watch countries include:

  • SuperSport South Africa
  • J Sports
  • NHK
  • EirSport Ireland.

You can download the apps for these providers once you’ve installed a VPN client on your computer or Smart TV. So lets say Spark Sports don’t launch an app for your TV, you can simply download the PureVPN client which is on your TV, install and activate this and then download the ITV Player app and watch all the games live.


There you have it, the best guide on how to watch the rugby world cup 2019 in New Zealand is to use a VPN and a broadcaster from overseas. Alternatively sign up for a Spark Sports subscription and hope your ISP isn’t throttling bandwidth during the games. If they are, it’s probably going to be an uphill battle to fix it. A VPN encrypts data so your ISP can’t tell what you’re doing. If your internet connection is slow, it might be worth upgrading to VDSL or Fibre if it’s available as we have no idea what games will be on TVNZ.


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About the Author: KT

KT is an IT expert with a masters in cyber security from UCL. She's worked with some of the biggest security firms in London and knows how to secure your identity online (and remove geo blocks). She also has a passion for culture and traveling.