Sky TV: The mighty saviour of public broadcasting

Colour me cynical but news today that Sky have graciously gifted a channel for “Public Broadcasting” is hardly good for anyone other than Sky.  Public Broadcasting behind a paywall? Perhaps it should be referred to as Private Public Broadcasting.

I’ve had this exact scenario suggested to me on a number of occasions with the reasoning being that Sky would use such a play to prevent any regulation by being seen to be doing for public broadcasting what no one else is.

And so the content gets locked up, competition is reduced and prices soar.

On the surface, Face Television sounds great but in reality, not so much.

Public service broadcasting in New Zealand will have a new face from February, following SKY’s gifting of a channel to regional broadcasters.

SKY announced today it had signed a deal with Triangle TV founder and chief executive Jim Blackman, giving access to bandwidth on SKY channel 89 which will be known as Face TV.

“Under the agreement, we’re giving Triangle TV access to a channel on which they will screen their content,” says SKY TV spokesperson Kirsty Way.

“The deal means they will also provide access to other regional broadcasters to show their programmes.”

Face TV will launch on 1 February 2013, with Triangle TV simulcasting on both the new channel and via its existing UHF signal until the digital switchover is complete.

Blackman, who will manage Face TV, says: “This is a very welcome move for public service broadcasting in New Zealand, particularly with the demise of Stratos and TVNZ7. Triangle, to the surprise of many, has been around for 14 years now and today I am absolutely rapt to have my staff’s efforts recognised by New Zealand’s largest broadcaster – SKY.

“Thanks to SKY’s generosity, regional broadcasters will have significantly increased access to millions of viewers nationwide from February next year.”

More information including schedules will be available prior to launch

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • bobscoffee

    Sky only does what’s best for Sky

    • Not at all – currently Triangle Television has no way forward into the digital future as there are no terrestrial channels available in the Auckland regioion to enable it to do so

  • Campbell

    Are they putting Aljazeera, Bloomberg.. etc behind a pay wall now are they?

  • nigel godfrey

    A very positive move from SKY why read anything else into it ?Jim Blackman has worked bloody hard to get Triangle to where it is – this will surely see them develop further – why knock this ?

    • I don’t disagree that this is nothing but good news for Jim and his team who have worked tirelessly with Triangle but putting it behind a paywall does not make it public broadcasting. I have no doubt that triangle will develop as a result but that does nothing for those who can’t afford or don’t want sky.