A last-ditch bid by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union to put live rugby on city television screens failed after the Australia Network could not get the advertising it needed. The union entered negotiations with the Australia Network last week when the channel showed a belated interest in televising all the remaining northern hemisphere matches taking place this month involving the All Blacks, Australia, South Africa, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and France. On Friday it still looked like a deal could be brokered but the plans fell through when the TV network failed to land a chief sponsor. 'It came to our attention that the Australia Network were looking to show all the autumn tests this month and were trying to get some broadcast sponsorship,' the union's head of commercial, communication and events, Warrick Dent, said. 'They've been trying pretty hard and we've done our best to help them out with advertising here, but it looks like they haven't been able to raise enough broadcast sponsorship in Australia to do it, which is a shame. We gave it a real go and they thanked us for trying to make it happen, but in the end the main broadcast sponsor they had lined up decided not to proceed.' The Australia Network lost the rights to show next year's Tri-Nations and Super 15 competitions, so screening the autumn tests would have been a victory of sorts for the channel. The network would not comment on the failed bid but instead took a swipe at Sanzar (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby) - the body which operates the Super 14 (to become Super 15) and Tri-Nations and which awarded coverage for next season's Super 15 and Tri-Nations to Setanta Sports, an Irish-based international broadcaster. 'Sanzar has determined to award the Tri-Nations and Super 15 rights to another organisation,' Pam Murray, the Australia Network's head of marketing, said. 'Having brought rugby union to the Asia-Pacific region free of charge for the last four years, Australia Network is obviously extremely disappointed in the outcome as it believes the game should be promoted to the widest possible viewership in order to grow the game.' Last night's matches involved England and Australia at Twickenham, Scotland and the All Blacks at Murrayfield, and the Springboks against Wales in Cardiff. Wan Chai and Central bars still showed the games thanks to internet streaming, but this fact did not seem to bother Now-TV which previously showed the encounters. PCCW, the service provider for Now-TV, did not agree that the matches shown on the internet undermined its business in Hong Kong, and preferred to concentrate on other sports it is currently showing. 'We offer the full range of options to viewers to suit their viewing needs. In fact a lot of our sports content such as La Liga, NBA, Italian Serie A, ATP Tour Tennis, and the PGA Golf Tour, to name a few, are available on our quad play platform including the internet, allowing our viewers to enjoy their favourite content anytime, anywhere,' a PCCW spokeswoman said.