Freeview welcomes TVNZ digital developments

Steve Browning, GM of Freeview, today welcomed two major developments that have taken place in NZ Digital Television this week.

The first is the news yesterday that TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 are set to become available to all Sky TV viewers.

“Freeview has never been about exclusivity. We are New Zealand’s only open digital TV and radio platform, which means we do not require any channel to be Freeview exclusive.

We always expected TVNZ 6 and 7 to be made available on Sky. The appeal of Freeview is that once you have purchased a Freeview approved receiver all the channels are free.

Conversely, with Sky TV you are paying a monthly subscription to watch free-to-air digital channels.

“We believe that the added exposure for these channels will draw welcome attention to what viewers can get elsewhere for free and that’s good news for us,” he says.

“While the inclusion of TVNZ 6 and 7 on Sky TV and the absence of Prime on Freeview are not linked commercially, it remains difficult for New Zealanders’ to understand why a free-to-air channel – like Prime – is not on Freeview.

We clearly want this to happen as soon as possible,” he added.

The second development is the news that TVNZ has acquired a 33% stake in Hybrid Television Services (ANZ) Pty Ltd, the exclusive licensee of TiVo in Australia and New Zealand.

This will mean that TiVo will be locally available this year.

“From day one Freeview has encouraged as many digital receiver products into the market as possible.

By launching our MyFreeview|HDTM service in December last year we showed we wanted people to be able to easily record their favourite programmes with no monthly fees.

The TiVo media device will receive the Freeview|HDTM service and provide other services over broadband. This is an exciting development,” Mr Browning says.

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