SKY Television and Television New Zealand (TVNZ) today announced that they have formed a partnership to launch a new digital pay television service, delivering pay channels over SKY’s digital terrestrial spectrum. SKY has a 51% shareholding and TVNZ a 49% shareholding in the joint venture.
The new service will provide paid-for and free content, including free-to-air channels, to a digital decoder, which is also readied to utilise Ultra-Fast-Broadband (UFB) in the future.
The launch will be in the first half of 2012, timed to take advantage of the digital switchover (DSO), when a large number of New Zealand homes will need to transition to a digital television service.
SKY’s Chief Executive Officer, John Fellet, said;
“It’s exciting to be working together with TVNZ to provide Kiwis with more television viewing options. We’ll be working hard to develop a brand new television service we believe will appeal to a large number of households.”
TVNZ’s Chief Executive Officer, Rick Ellis added;
“TVNZ and SKY have enjoyed a growing relationship in recent years and our strategy is to reach more New Zealanders in more ways. This investment helps us to achieve this. “
TVNZ’s Head of Digital Media and Channels, Eric Kearley, who will also serve on the Board of the venture, added;
“This is a win for consumers who will enjoy more choice in terms of how they access free and paid-for content and future proofs access to further options once UFB comes on stream.”
The joint venture will announce further details, including content and pricing, in the near future.
SKY Television is New Zealand’s pre-eminent pay television operator, offering a wide range of sports, movies, music, on-demand and general entertainment content across more than 112 channels. SKY’s channel line-up includes 8 sports channels, 6 movie channels, 7 general entertainment channels, 6 documentary channels, 6 news channels, 6 children’s channels, as well as other niche and special interest channels. (As of 26 August 2011, SKY had 836,622 subscribers).
About Television New Zealand
TVNZ is New Zealand's leading Free to Air television and digital media company. TVNZ has four free-to-air channels TV ONE and TV2, TVNZ 7 and TVNZ U - and two pay TV channels, TVNZ Heartland and Kidzone 24. TVNZ Ondemand is TVNZ's online television catch-up site, where New Zealanders can watch their favourite shows whenever they want. TVNZ also has a significant online presence with tvnz.co.nz, providing both entertainment and up-to-the-minute news.