The new app, packed with great features around SKY’s
electronic programme guide is a one stop shop for listings for more than
111 channels including all SKY’s channels plus all the free-to-air

The portable access provided to this extensive listing information
will benefit not only SKY’s 808,000 plus subscribers but any TV viewer
in NZ.

The SKY TV app delivers many useful features to make TV viewing even
more convenient. After downloading the app users can remote record shows
to their MY SKY decoders, set reminder alerts for their favourite
programmes, create their own personal guide with favourite channels or
share what they like through Facebook, Twitter, SMS or email. SKY
subscribers can even book a recording of SKY Box Office movies or SKY
ARENA events, like the upcoming Sonny Bill Williams fight, through their
iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

SKY believes the most used feature will be the search functionality.
The ability to search for a programme on every channel through a
portable device without interrupting television viewing should be hugely

John Fellet, SKY Chief Executive said, “I’m so impressed with this
new app I can’t wait for all New Zealand TV viewers to experience it.
The app is so easy to use and brings so much convenience to television
viewing being both portable and available 24/7. We’re sure it will be
well used and we certainly plan to release more functionality in the
near future”.

New features are already under development and will be released at a
later date. They are planned to include the ability to add services and
channel packages to SKY subscriptions and a recommendations feature.

The SKY Television app is in the Apple store today. 

SKY TV NZ - Sky Network Television Limited

Sky’s brand new iphone app is just about perfect.  

It’s free, has a nice easy-to-use interface for checking out TV listings (and it includes the free-to-air channels too), searchable and can be configured to your viewing preferences by just showing the channels you like to watch.

The best feature for me though would have to be the remote recording and alerts on our MySky.  I know they’ve had this feature on their website for quite a while, but I’m usually out and about when I want to record something and logging in on their website never really seemed an easy thing to do on my phone (plus this way, I only need to enter my login information once). 

Thanks Sky!  

SKY TV NZ - Sky Network Television Limited

A huge thanks to all the TV reporters, cameramen, presenters and others working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring news to us around the country during this difficult time.  We appreciate you.

Please leave your messages of thanks to those in the TV industry here – they will be reading.  

When ordering WWE Elimination Chamber today I noticed that Sky is moving Sky Box Office Events to Channel 038 from March 1 and changing it’s name to ARENA.

Today MTV Networks (Owned by Viacom) announced it
was closing its office in New Zealand. The company is Sky Network Television’s
largest external content contributor representing the MTV, Comedy Central,
Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr Brands.


Upwards of 23 staff will lose their jobs in the decision to
consolidate the company’s New Zealand operations with its Sydney Australia
. This closure is just the latest in a string of offshoreing by Sky
associated Brands. The Discovery Channel’s operations are also to be merged
with Australia in the coming months, and Prime (also owned by Sky) laid-off a
number of employees after sending the majority of its Prime News operation back
to Sydney.


With all these moves to consolidate and migrate
our Kiwi networks to Australia it does raise the question. ‘Can New Zealand
based channels make a profit on the Sky, and Telstra Platforms, and if not,
does pushing jobs overseas have an effect on how kiwis are seen on screen, at
home. And finally, could sending these jobs overseas actually be better for Sky
Subscribers in NZ.


The trouble for NZ pay networks is that most
don’t handle their own advertising and are paid by Sky for how many, or what
percentage of audiences their Channel attracts. Now this was all good back when
Sky had about 5 Channels and most of them were fairly nasty, but with the
proliferation of new channels to the platform (not to mention the different way
of viewing content – iSky is another classic example), audiences have become
more and more fragmented so even if you are fortunate enough to control your
own advertising, advertisers will want to pay less because you have less
eyeballs on your programming.


With Sky running what is largely considered a
monopoly, most non-Sky owned channels operate in an environment of fear, Sky is
their largest source of Revenue, and in some cases their only source. Some
channels like TLC and Bloomberg have survived outside the Sky Nest on Telstra,
but this is somewhat a moot point given they aren’t NZ based anyway, and with
only 40,000ish subscribers TelstraTV is hardly a bread winner
(and let’s not mention with TiVo).


Sky TV’s argument will no doubt be that any job
and Kiwi content losses are negated by the addition of new channels and more
niche content, but they might just be cutting of their nose to spite their
face. By removing more and more of the Kiwi look and feel the Network is
leaving little defining factors to persuade subscribers to pay their monthly
subscription fees when it is becoming more and more easy to download overseas
content for free, and this is before the rollout of ADSL2+ and the National
Broadband Scheme.


Speaking of government, you might argue that with
the Current one in a more harmonious relationship with Sky than any other before
it, Sky is beginning to take the proverbial P($$ a bit.’  Sky it seems has
never been in better shape, with Profits up almost 17% for the year ending June
2010. People are even spending more with average revenue per subscriber up
5.6%. Still it seems like many of the Company’s non-owned and operated content
providers have never been more under the gun. With that in mind you can’t help
but wonder if the likes of Julie Christie and her partners in ‘Food TV’ and
‘The Living Channel’ are looking to offload their interests to Australia’s ‘XYZ
Networks’, particularly given the similarities between the Kiwi offering and
‘LifestyleYou’ and ‘Lifestyle Food’ channels in Aus.


Sky V Hulu? 


There has been a long running discussion (we’re
talking years) of the possibility of Sky New Zealand merging with its
Australian counterpart FOXTEL. FOXTEL is 25% owned by Rupert Murdoch’s ‘News
Corporation’, which also owns over 40% of Sky in New Zealand, if this were to
happen it would no doubt be a serious blow for the New Zealand Television
Industry. Except for the job cuts, and small tidbits of original NZ
programming, the dropping of MTVNZ is probably no huge loss, MTV is if nothing
else, a network that prides itself on its homogeneity of content that can be
beamed into almost any country inexpensively, with a potentially huge financial
return. I’m more interested in the dialogue though. Firstly, do you care that
these channels are being fed in from Sydney, and secondly do you think people
will start asking the question ‘What am I getting here, and is it not better to
cancel my Sky Subscription and upgrade my Broadband connection?’

SKY Television is pleased to confirm that it has partnered with Vodafone, Orcon, Slingshot, Woosh, Xnet and Farmside to create un-metered broadband plans for a new online TV service, iSKY.

iSKY is SKY’s new online TV service giving SKY subscribers access to an extensive selection of online content streamed directly to personal computers (both to PC and Macs).

A customer watching programmes on iSKY through an ISP partner broadband plan will not use their monthly data allowance, so they’re free to watch as much as they want.

iSKY will offer a great variety and choice of video content within a single service including three live sports and two live news channels, plus the ability to catch up on recently broadcast content at no cost for nearly all of SKY’s Basic channels (including free-to-air channel PRIME).  There will also be a Sports Highlights and a Movies catch up channel, together with an extensive library of movies, documentaries and TV series available to rent.

Earlier this week, SKY confirmed Orcon / Kordia as its content delivery partner who will build an efficient and high performance content delivery network for New Zealand.

iSKY is scheduled to launch later this year – subscribers can register now at with the opportunity to win a prize for early registration.

A decision is set to be made as early as this week as to the date of the analogue television switch-off, with 2015 looking like the most likely date.

The end of analogue television in this country would result in people yet to make the move to the likes of Freeview and Sky having to do so if they possess older television sets which don’t have digital receivers built in.

The Government is also set to offer a sweetener to those in provincial New Zealand cities, with an extension in the reach of Freeview’s HD service, FreeviewHD, which would increase the coverage from 75 per cent to around 87 per cent of households.

Cities that would gain FreeviewHD would include Nelson, Invercargill, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Masterton and Gisborne.

A spokesman for Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman said an announcement would be made soon “on a range of issues regarding broadcasting.”

There has been no indication whether or not the Government will provide financial assistance to aid customers make the change as US and British Governments did.

Source: Stuff

Commemorating the day that shook the world, Discovery Channel, Crime & Investigation, National Geographic and the History Channel will feature the following specials in the up coming ninth anniversary of the World Trade & Pentagon terrorist attacks in 2001…


THE HISTORY CHANNEL – Friday 10 September, 7.30pm

How close did the US come to killing the most wanted man in history? We present the most compelling search-and-destroy missions which attempted to kill the mastermind of 9/11. With first person accounts from CIA agents, Special Forces operatives and government figures, this special lays out these strategies in compelling detail. The action is visualized through a combination of U.S. military archive (some shot by the special ops themselves), dramatic filming on current military missions, CGI enhanced battle analysis and impressionistic re-enactments. The top ten strategies include: using local tribal factions to capture or kill him, missile strikes, stealth aircraft attacks, CIA hired assassins, invasions, cave busting bombs, Special Forces commandos, attack drones and blitzkrieg.



THE HISTORY CHANNEL – Friday 10 September, 9.30pm

Forensic engineers study the structural difference between the Twin Towers and the Pentagon and explain why the results were so different on September 11.



CRIME & INVESTIGATION – Sunday 11 September, 7.30pm

A gripping minute by minute account of the time between the attack on the first of the Twin Towers to the collapse of the second, using recorded voicemails and raw network footage. This will be a lasting document whose unique material comes from a range of non-traditional sources, including amateur photography, video, and film; FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority and emergency dispatch radio recordings, photography and video; recorded voicemails; audio/video diaries; footage and stills broadcast or published outside the United States; electronic messages and surveillance camera footage.



NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL – Saturday 11 September, 7.30pm

For the first time on TV, Mayor Rudy Giuliani relives the day when the city he was in charge of came under attack. September 11th 2001 was a day that changed the world. Informed over an 8am breakfast meeting, Giuliani had a choice: co-ordinate from afar or head downtown to the centre of the devastation. The decisions he would make in the next 12 hours would save lives. While the world watched in shock, he had to act: he went downtown. Surrounded by death, chaos and carnage, he displayed exemplary qualities of leadership. Championing the fighting spirit of New York, Mayor Giuliani directed rescue agencies, rallied his team and gave hope to millions. In a city on its knees, one man stood firm. Told in his own words, this is his story.


MY 9/11

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL – Saturday 11 September, 8.30pm

Revisit September 11 with a collection of powerful, immersive stories of people who were intricately associated with and impacted by the event: people in the highest echelons attempting to prevent and stop the attacks; ordinary people caught in the middle, like the window washer cleaning the windows of the 93rd floor of the World Trade Centre just moments before the attack; and people who still cannot shake how the events of that morning altered their worlds forever. Much of the 9/11 story is well-known: President George Bush in a schoolroom in Florida, hijackers sliding past airport security checkpoints in Boston, the brave NYC firefighters storming the World Trade Centre to save lives, and the chaos in Washington as the Pentagon lay smouldering and rumours abounded about which target would be next. But many incredible personal stories of those central to the unfolding events have yet to be heard, and those with surprising new perspectives on the day are only now ready to talk.



DISCOVERY CHANNEL – Sunday 12 September, 7.30pm

This special takes a definitive look at the aftermath of 9/11. First-hand accounts are given from rescue workers who navigated the treacherous terrain to reach survivors, soldiers who were deployed to the scene, family members who searched in vain for loved-ones, survivors who were pulled from the wreckage and people who visually documented the scene from various vantage points throughout.

SKY Television confirmed today the launch of RECORD ME on the 6th of July, an exciting new feature enabling subscribers to book a programme for recording directly from a promo.

With the press of a button, MY SKY HDi subscribers will be able to book to record movies, individual programmes, or an entire series, immediately or weeks in advance.

The availability of RECORD ME is signalled through an on screen icon prompting the viewer to press the green button on the MY SKY remote. RECORD ME will be initially available on 27 SKY channels including free-to-air channel PRIME. RECORD ME will also be available on SKY’s pay-per-view channels in the near future. This feature is only available on live viewing.

RECORD ME is part of a comprehensive upgrade programme delivering MY SKY HDi subscribers a number of new user friendly features including a quarter screen video in the electronic programme guide allowing viewers to continue watching a programme while browsing the guide, and new features in the planner including a delete confirmation button and A – Z and genre specific search functionality.

Mike Watson, Director of Marketing said: “Consumers tell us that MY SKY is a life changing experience that transforms their TV viewing. The combination of  RECORD ME, the Electronic Programme Guide Enhancements and SKY’s rich content offering, will ensure that MY SKY subscribers will get even more value from their subscription.”

RECORD ME will be available from July 6.


With TVNZ’s free to air broadcast of the All Whites first World Cup game in 28 years reaping a rating that was approximately three and a half times the audience of the broadcast on Sky, it raises some interesting questions.

Like, should the New Zealand Rugby Union be contemplating a return to certain games being broadcast live on FTA?  Perhaps such a move would revitalise peoples interest in the game.  Heaven knows something needs to be revitalised!

What about TVNZ Heartland?  Would any trumpet blowing about apparent success be overshadowed by the nagging question, would it have drawn even larger audiences had it been on the FTA Freeview platform?  I guess it doesn’t really matter because regardless of whether anyone actually watches, TVNZ gets paid, but still an interesting question.

The obvious success of having a live, FTA broadcasts at such a late hour must surely indicate just how important it is for games of national importance to be available for viewing.  Whether or not this is something that a minister of broadcasting would entrench into law in New Zealand, however, is a completely other story.