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.