SKY says Australian online start-up Quickflix doesn’t know what it’s talking about when it comes to television content.
“In every country, every TV provider has exclusive premium content arrangements and every TV provider - and telco for that matter - can bid for that content if they wish to,” says SKY CEO John Fellet.
“The fact is the rights to the most-watched TV shows in New Zealand sit with TVNZ and Mediaworks exclusively, not SKY, yet Quickflix doesn’t seem to complain about that.”
Fellet says SKY’s only first-run entertainment content, like the incredibly popular Game Of Thrones, is on the SoHo channel and it is all made for pay TV cable.
“These shows, which are expensive to buy and even more expensive to make, simply wouldn’t exist without the pay TV model yet Quickflix thinks it should be entitled to them as of right. By all means, they can bid for it at the same time we do or get the rights to it after our exclusive timeframe is over.
“This is no different to the situation that prevails with top TVNZ and Mediaworks shows like Terra Nova, Homeland, Grey’s Anatomy, Coronation Street, Desperate Housewives, Vampire Diaries, The Mentalist, Revenge, House, Modern Family, The Simpsons, Two And A Half Men, Sons Of Anarchy, CSI, The Good Wife, Breaking Bad – not one of which is available on Quickflix.
“TVNZ and Mediaworks also have the exclusive rights to show many of these programmes online via their On Demand service.”
Fellet points out HBO and SoHo shows represent just 5% of the US and UK series shown in New Zealand; the rest sit with TVNZ and Mediaworks.
“When Quickflix head Chris Taylor was CEO of Prime in New Zealand, he did exclusive deals for shows like Top Gear and Weeds. Would he now surrender those to online start-ups? I very much doubt it. Likewise in Australia he holds exclusive rights for HBO content, I doubt he offered them to channel 7, 9 or 10.”