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 »

Sky TV has copped a slap on the wrist from the Commerce Commission for accidentally overcharging around 2500 customers.

Sky was running a promotion where customers could sign up to one of its premium services for a month for only $1 but an error in the automated telephone system caused customers to be charged up to $25 instead.

2634 Sky customers were overcharged as the telephone system had not been updated with the correct pricing information. Continue reading »

SKY responds to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s demand side study into high speed broadband, released earlier today.

“Following a thorough investigation, the Telecommunications Commissioner has identified the cost of using high speed broadband as a crucial factor in whether or not people take up the service. SKY agrees and notes that pricing appears to be heading in the right direction,” says SKY CEO John Fellet. Continue reading »

Significant  concerns  about  access  to  content  and  Sky’s  contracts  with  ISPs. 

The Commerce Commission today announced the completion of its investigation into Igloo, the joint venture between TVNZ and Sky. It concluded that Igloo was unlikely to reduce competition in the pay TV market, despite concerns also being raised about Sky’s entry into the free-­‐to-­‐air market.

However, Sky’s not off the hook with the Commission. Continue reading »

The Commerce Commission has completed its investigation into the joint venture between Television New Zealand Limited (TVNZ) and Sky Network Television Limited (Sky) finding the pay TV market will not be less competitive as a result of the venture.

In November 2011, TVNZ entered into a joint venture agreement with Sky to launch a new low-cost subscription TV service, known as Igloo.

The Commission received a number of complaints that the joint venture had the potential to substantially lessen competition. It opened an investigation to determine whether there was any likely breach of sections 47 or 27 of the Commerce Act. Today, the Commission advised TVNZ and Sky that it had found no likely breach. Continue reading »

Received the following letter from Sky TV this morning.

At SKY we strive to provide you with the very best value in entertainment.

Over the last year we have added more channels and worked hard to secure the best TV content we possible can for our subscribers. Here are a few highlights: Continue reading »

Following the hugely successful launch of the SKY Apple app, SKY is pleased to announce the Android version is available for download from today. The SKY Android app includes a set of useful features around SKY’s TV guide including the ability to remote record to MY SKY decoders.

Portable access to this extensive listing information for all SKY and free to air channels will benefit all TV viewers in NZ, including SKY’s more than 846,000 customers. Continue reading »

Sky and TVNZ announced yesterday that they were partnering up to deliver a new budget pay tv service, entrenching TVNZ’s desire to move towards subscription based revenue and driving the wedge deeper into their position with Freeview despite them saying otherwise.

Freeview wouldn’t comment on the announcement other than to say they currently have compatible products agreements with TCL, TiVo and Sony PlayTV but not this new venture so they aren’t licensed to use Freeview’s trademarks.

We also posed some questions to Eric Kearley, TVNZ’s head of digital services who will also sit on the new venture’s board.

Throng: Firstly, with the announcement today that TVNZ and Sky are launching a new Pay TV offering, does this secure the future of TVNZ7 and or TVNZU?

EK: The venture does not change the status of TVNZ7 or TVNZU in any way. The venture will launch a new platform, there is no effect on the content or plans for any individual TVNZ channels that we can currently predict.

Throng: What implications do you see with TVNZ being a stakeholder in Freeview?  

EK: TVNZ is committed to supporting Freeview and FTA television, which will remain at the core of TVNZ. Freeview has been very successful in getting New Zealanders to convert to digital television in preparation for for Digital Switch Over, and will continue to be so. This venture provides consumers with more choice to convert to digital as we approach DSO.

TVNZ is committed to supporting the governments timetable to achieving DSO through multiple initiatives including support for Freeview, participation in the Digital Switch Over group, “Going Digital” communication initiatives, and now the participation and support for this joint venture.

Throng: What will TiVo’s involvement be with this new service, if any?

EK: None.

While TVNZ can, on the surface, state that they support Freeview, surely there are conflicts of interest.  I can’t imagine that the other seats at the Freeview table will be happy knowing that any commercially sensitive information will be readily available to a competitor.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out…