Purchase of Prime TelevisionIn November 2005, Sky announced it had purchased the free-to-air channel Prime Television for NZ$30 million. Sky uses Prime to promote its pay content and to show delayed sports coverage. New Zealand's Commerce Commission issued clearance for the purchase on February 8, 2006.[1]

Overview of the New Zealand television industry

There are approximately 1.6 million households in New Zealand [1]. Providing television services to these households are two major free-to-air broadcasters, several smaller UHF operators and SKY, New Zealand’s principal nationwide pay television provider and owner of free-to-air channel, PRIME.

Government owned TVNZ is New Zealand’s largest television broadcaster with a combined 45.3% audience market share [2] through its two free-to-air channels, TV ONE and TV2. New Zealand’s other major free-to-air broadcaster is MediaWorks, which broadcasts two channels (TV3 and C4) nationally and has an combined audience market share of approximately 17.9%. [3] Other free-to-air broadcasters include SKY’s free-to-air channel, PRIME, which has a 5.8% audience market share,

My Sky In December 2005, Sky released its own Digital Video Recorder (DVR), which essentially is an upgraded set top box similar to Foxtel IQ in Australia or TiVo in the U.S.. Called My Sky, it offers viewers the ability to pause live television, rewind television, record up to two channels at once straight to the set top box and watch the start of a recorded programme while still recording the end. It also gives viewers access to a revamped Guide and the new Planner, used to plan and access recordings at the touch of a button. However the PVR box remains the property of SKY Television.

One of the advertised features of My Sky is the ability of the system to record series of programs using the "Series Link" feature. But this has proven to be somewhat unreliable in that on occasions, intended future recordings are not made. This has occurred since the inception of the service. Sky TV say they are working to determine the cause of the random failures, and to rectify it. Soft rebooting the decoder appears to temporarily overcome the problem.

There was software in My Sky that after an hour of no signal from Sky then the decoder locks playback of pre-recorded programmes. This was discovered after the Optus B1 satellite was unable to broadcast Sky to over 600,000 subscribers.


As at 30 June 2010, SKY’s pay television services had a residential household penetration of approximately 47.9% [5] and an audience market share of approximately 26.4%.[6]

Under agreements with the broadcasters concerned, all the major free-to-air television channels – TV ONE, TV2, TV3, and C4 - are available on SKY’s digital satellite service.

SKY provides all TelstraClear’s pay television content through a reseller and retransmission agreement. TelstraClear transmits SKY programme content via its cable network to customers

in the Wellington and Christchurch regions. SKY also has reseller and retransmission agreements with Telecom and Vodafone.

In June 2006, the Government established Freeview, to transition all free-to-air broadcasters from analogue to digital transmission. This is a hybrid terrestrial/satellite platform with satellite broadcasting commencing in May 2007 and the terrestrial broadcasting in April 2008.

Freeview content comprises all the major free-to-air channels including PRIME, plus Te Reo and TVNZ channels TV6 and TV7 and several regional channels.