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 »


SKY is delighted to confirm that premium entertainment channel SoHo will continue to be ‘The Home of HBO’ in New Zealand following the renewal of an exclusive output deal with ground-breaking American content provider Home Box Office (HBO) giving Kiwis access to the hottest television content on the planet.

The multi-year, multi-platform deal also includes Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) rights for an exclusive collection of select HBO titles, meaning New Zealand fans of series such as Game of Thrones, The Wire and Girls will have their favourite shows at their fingertips when SKY TV launches its new SVOD service later this year. Continue reading »

playstation-logoYou don’t have to look too far to realise that what is driving many in the TV world right now is original content. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have jumped head first into the game with hits like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black while TV networks like E! have even boarded the plane with original drama series of their own.

People want original content and those with audiences are figuring out how to produce the right stuff for them. It’s not just limited to streaming services and TV broadcasters now though. Sony’s PlayStation is getting in on the act too.

Sony’s PlayStation used the Electronic Entertainment Expo in early June to make a stand in the race to develop an original drama that could rival Netflix’s efforts. Executives for the gaming console said June 9 that its first original series — Powers, based on the superhero comic by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming — will premiere in December on the PlayStation Plus subscription service. Casting has begun on the ambitious live-action series.

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When Sky announced they were launching a Subscription Video on Demand service today, CEO John Fellet stated that it wouldn’t include sport because “People want to watch sport live”.

This post is just for you, John. As you can see, you can already stream certain sporting events, like tonight’s State of Origin game. It’s even in HD! All you need to make the “Sorry this event is not available in your area” message go away is Hola.

SKY_Hero_Top_RGB_01While New Zealand is regularly referred to as Middle Earth, it appears that Sky Television would prefer it to be Westeros. The porcelain throne, for dumping excessive amounts of capital on “too-late-to-market” technologies down (like TiVo) is currently occupied by House TVNZ but House Sky seem all too eager to topple the incumbent king. With jealousy over the monopoly setting in, House Sky have carted carriages of gold to The Eyrie to tip out of the moon door.

Yes. Sky have announced that they’re launching a streaming video service.

When it comes to being fast followers, Sky are like the last kid in a long distance running race. The officials are packing away chairs and picking up left over rubbish as a couple of proud parents clap and cheer as the fruit of their loins limps towards the tattered ribbon that was broken well before the sun set and all the excited spectators went home. Continue reading »

skytv_logoStuff reported over the weekend

The home entertainment industry may be in for a major shake-up amid signs Sky Television is negotiating to buy the country’s fourth largest internet provider, Orcon.

Orcon director Warren Hurst indicated late on Friday evening that a deal for the sale of the internet provider was being worked on over the weekend. Continue reading »

Piracy has been a problem for content creators since forever but over time, business models have been forced to change. It is simply a case of evolve, or die. The music industry suffered immensely from the likes of Napster in the early 2000’s but finally learned to embrace the digital era with the creation of services like Spotify. For TV and movies we now have services like Quickflix, iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

People seem happy to pay a reasonable fee for the content they want. And if they can’t, they choose to access it via alternative means, usually free. This results in the potential conditioning of consumers who, even when prices and services improve, remain content with their existing arrangements.

Consumers will always seek out a better deal if there is one. In the case of New Zealand, we are limited by TV networks who delay scheduling and charge what they like due to the lack of competition in the subscription TV space. Consumers, for years, have protested. Initially, many were downloading the content they want via bit torrent, file lockers or Usenet. Many still are. But there are a growing number of people who are using legitimate international services to access the content they want at a fraction of the cost of what they would pay locally.

So how does it work? Continue reading »