Sky Television and Television New Zealand (TVNZ) 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 per cent shareholding and TVNZ a 49 per cent 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 the operator would be working hard to develop a brand new television service it believed would appeal to a large number of households.
TVNZ’s Chief Executive Officer, Rick Ellis – who is soon leaving the broadcaster to head up Telstra’s Digital Media division – noted that TVNZ and Sky had enjoyed a growing relationship in recent years and their strategy was to reach more New Zealanders in more ways. “This investment helps us to achieve this,” he said.
TVNZ’s Head of Digital Media and Channels, Eric Kearley, who will also serve on the Board of the venture, described the partnership as a win for consumers who would enjoy more choice in terms of how they access free and paid-for content and future-proofed access to further options once UFB comes on stream.
The joint venture will announce further details, including content and pricing, in the near future.