With all the talk of the government selling assets at the moment, how is News Corp’s ditching of $815m worth of shares in Sky Television going to impact on the availability of capital for investment?

Given the opportunity, would you rather purchase shares in a power company or a television company?

No doubt the Sky TV shares are going to get snapped up but the big question is, by who?  Will it be another media company?  Should TVNZ buy back in?  Or will it be another clueless hedge fund that will mine it, and its customers, for every penny they can?

GoinDigitalFigures released this week suggest there are still nearly 150,000 New Zealand households still without adequate digital television equipment for the analogue switch-off.

Public information campaign Going Digital claim there are 146,000 homes without Sky, Freeview, TelstraClear or Igloo services, meaning they will be unable to watch TV by the end of the year.

Going Digital is warning those yet to make the move that if they leave it until the last minute they may face delays due to the rush.

Greg Harford, Going Digital National Manager, said: “There were people in Hawke’s Bay in September last year who left the move to digital TV until the last minute and when they sought help from technicians or installers, they found there was a wait. That’s why we’re advising people to start thinking about the change now. Continue reading »

Ew! Ew! Ew!

While Sky spent yesterday pointlessly shooting itself in the feet over the global availability of the Banshee pilot, a drama paid for and commissioned by US cable network Cinemax, TVNZ has revealed that from Monday, they will be debuting the prequel to Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries, on TVNZondemand.

TVNZ, which will be broadcasting The Carrie Diaries later in the year, will make episodes available via their ondemand service within a week of its US release.

This unprecedented move is the exact type of scenario that a, dare I say it, forward looking television broadcaster would take in order to stem revenue loss from content being sourced elsewhere.

All Sky customers now have access to TVNZ audio description information when viewing TV One (high definition) and TV2 (standard and high definition).

The audio descriptions greatly enhance TV for vision impaired New Zealanders by providing details about what is happening on screen, eg: “John looks shocked as he sees them embrace and kiss passionately”.

Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way said Sky had been working on the launch for several months,

“We have invested around $50,000 to enable all Sky customers’ access to TVNZ audio descriptions which have been created with NZ On Air funding.” Continue reading »

New Zealand Cricket and Sky TV today signed a new deal for the next two years that will see all home domestic and international cricket matches shown on Sky.

Running through until March 2014, the deal will include tours by England, West Indies and India as well as the domestic HRV Cup in a new Friday night slot.

“New Zealand Cricket has enjoyed a strong relationship with SKY and we are thrilled to be extending our agreement,” said NZC chief executive David White.

“SKY’s commitment to cricket is highlighted by their offer to broadcast HRV Cup matches on Friday evenings, helping extend the reach of our highly entertaining Twenty20 competition. Continue reading »

The Commerce Commission has told Sky TV that further investigation is needed into its content arrangements with internet service providers.

The first stage of the investigation has been completed but the regulator sees fit to dig a little deeper into the company’s agreements.

Sky TV CEO John Fellet told the NBR this week that he saw how it could take the Commission a while “to get to grips with deal points that have been in our contracts for a decade.”

“We’d rather it just be done,” he said. Continue reading »

When we were deciding how best to allocate our budgets for this period we took a look at how the Paralympics had rated in previous years.

Having looked at that we made the call that the level of interest shown in the past meant that showing two by one hour documentaries on NZ Paraolympians on Prime in the run up to the games, the Opening Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony LIVE and then two by one hour highlights packages each day on SKY and a review show on Sunday morning on Prime would give most people the opportunity to satisfy their interest.

We should acknowledge that if the Paralympics is something you are passionate about then anything less than LIVE coverage could be a disappointment.

Just in case you were unaware, the International Paralympics Committee is streaming five channels of LIVE coverage, over 780 hours, on the internet at This coverage is available to anyone in New Zealand with access to the internet.

I guess that means that the Paralympics coverage is on a par with the NBC’s Olympic Games coverage in the USA.

Sky TV has announced a 2 per cent rise in its net profit in the year to June 30.

The broadcaster announced earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $336m with a profit of $122.8m.

The total number of Sky subscribers increased over the year by 2.1 per cent, to 846,931.

The subscriber base features 819,590 residential digital subscribers and 27,341 commercial and other subscribers, meaning that Sky is now in almost 50 per cent of kiwi homes. Continue reading »

The Oceania Football Confederation is considering launching a new free-to-air TV channel on Freeview.

The OFC, which is backed by the wealth of world football body Fifa, has already initiated talks with free-to-air television provider Freeview, at least 15 national sports organisations and Crown entity Sport New Zealand.

It is understood the Oceania plan is for 24-hour broadcasting, including live events, built around football but also encompassing other sports – many of which struggle to meet the financial demands of subscription satellite provider Sky TV. Continue reading »