Sky

neon-logoSky announced the name and details of their new online streaming service this afternoon. The press release was a little vague so I called their GM, Dave Joyce, to get the skinny on the new service.

After hearing the pitch as to what and why, I got down to the questions the fans of shows like Game of Thrones and really wanted to know. Is the fifth season of Game of Thrones going to be available at the same time as it airs on SoHo? Continue reading »

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Carry the seven kingdoms of Westeros in your pocket, spend your day off hunting for a serial killer on the Mexican border or veg for a couple of hours on the couch with Matthew McConaughey – it’s all possible with NEON.

NEON is a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service powered by SKY, which makes it easy for Kiwis to access great entertainment. NEON offers exclusive TV series, hundreds of movies, great factual entertainment, documentaries and brilliant family viewing. Continue reading »

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HBO didn’t announce a price point for the service, but it’s unlikely to be directly competitive with Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime, which all cost around $8 a month, analysts who spoke with Digiday agreed. HBO costs between $15 to $20 as part of cable packages. That’s likely to remain consistent whether or not HBO partners with MVPDs, they said.

“I don’t see standalone pricing being any less than what it costs now. If it was [cheaper], pay TV subscribers would have an incentive to cancel,” cannibalizing an existing revenue stream and frustrating key distribution partners, said IHS television analyst Erik Brannon. “But at the same time, I don’t see them being able to get a premium compared to pay TV pricing either.”

This will be interesting to watch, as HBO have the problem of a brick’n mortar cash cow they they can’t kill.  Does this mean the higher price points will work?  Or will consumers balk at a price point that will be $200%-300% more?  It is substantial…   Continue reading »

Two thirds of the way through September, hints began to trickle out of Hollywood that changes were coming that would see some of the major premium cable channels start to offer direct to viewers without the need for a cable package. Then yesterday, HBO revealed that it wasn’t only on the cards, it was happening and not just in America. Since then, Sky’s share price has followed an expected downward trend.

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$1 increase in subscriber cost caused a 25% share price plummet on the back of much lower than expected growth Continue reading »

hbo-logoThe announcement that is likely to be the beginning of the end for traditional subscription based cable and broadcast networks came today as HBO put a stake in the ground to say they would be offering a direct to consumer online offering in the U.S. in 2015. The announcement saw Netflix stock price immediately fall 3.1%.

While there is the likelihood that the estimated 30,000 Netflix subscribers would also take up this service, bypassing the restrictions, they may not need to with HBO indicating the service has it’s eyes firmly set on international markets outside of the States.

“In 2015 we will go beyond the wall and launch a standalone over-the-top service with the potential to produce hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenue. And the international possibilities could be just as large, if not larger,” HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said during a presentation at Time Warner’s investor day. Continue reading »

Sky Logo NewNBR is reporting [PAID] that Sky is likely to face rising costs for programming as rivals chase content.

Sky Network Television [NZX: SKT], which is in talks to renew its five year contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union, is likely to face rising costs for programming as new rivals chase content, analysts say.

New Zealand’s dominant payTV company, which counts almost half of New Zealand households as customers, said this week it had lost the rights to broadcast key PGA golf tournaments to a rival service, a year after it lost the rights for English Premier League football to internet competitor Coliseum Sports Media.

Competition for high-rating content is set to intensify after Spark New Zealand, formerly Telecom, launched its internet based TV service last month, adding to the sports based
service offered by Coliseum. US based Netflix, which pioneered such services, is reportedly planning to enter the New Zealand market next year, adding to offerings from Australian based Quickflix, Ezyflix and the upcoming StreamCo.

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Sky TV profit up

Sky Logo NewSky TV have returned a better than expected result this morning with a 21 per cent gain in annual profit.

Profit rose to $165.8 million in the 12 months ended June 30, ahead of the $160.5 million forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and higher than the $137.2 million profit a year earlier. Revenue increased 2.7 per cent to $909 million as sales from subscription fees rose 2.7 per cent to $809 million.

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Sky Logo NewSky recently announced that they had proudly secured an extension for the rights to broadcast HBO content here in New Zealand. However, now that people are able to bypass local rights holders and get their content directly, this announcement today should send shivers up their spines.

HBO‘s online platform could also offer videos from Time Warner‘s Turner networks, Warner Bros, “and, frankly, other networks,” CEO Jeff Bewkes told analysts today. “Should offerings be determined for consumers based on what a company owns?” he asked rhetorically. “That’s not how consumers arrange their dial….We’re anticipating people might want more than that.” The Time Warner chief says that HBO is “investing in top talent, software developers in Seattle” to improve on what’s already “a very good consumer experience.” Fox’s aborted effort to acquire Time Warner was driven, in part, by a desire to create its own centralized online service.

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I have been watching with much interest at how Sky, TVNZ and TV3 have reacted to Slingshot’s Global Mode product and their desire to spend money advertising it.

It brings me back to the early 2000′s when the music industry began to hit the panic button over piracy and rather than invest in legal alternatives, they whined about the problem and threw money at litigation. Eventually, someone with some commonsense came to the astounding realisation that customers would actually pay money for the digital service and now we have wonderful services like Spotify. As a result, we certainly spend more annually on music than we previously did and we have access to a wider range of content. Continue reading »