FreeviewPlus makes an impact on all On Demand content in New Zealand

Freeview Plus HGTV New Zealand Pay-TV Sky

With the increase of pay- TV operators in New Zealand, Sky is not looking good with a 14% fall in share price after the loss of 45,000 core residential subscribers in early 2016. The end of 2015 saw 860,445 customers, but the company was already bracing themselves for a drop of 3.5% and the number to be 830,000 at the end of June 2016. The anticipated decline followed the roll-off of subscribers who signed on to watch the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Pay-TV policies
Copyright There’s good enforcement of strong copyright laws under the Copyright Act 1994, with improvements introduced in 2008. However, significant loopholes on circumvention devices include omission of coverage for access controls. In 2011, a graduated response mechanism was introduced to address online copyright infringement, but has been used relatively little due to heavy cost burdens on complainants. OTT Regulations OTT-TV services are subjected to limited regulation, with mandated self-regulation of advertising and content by domestic operators in respect of streamed linear broadcasts, but not towards on demand content. Censorship rules regarding trading of objectionable material over the internet are in place against local operators. In theory, the same self-regulatory and legislative rules apply to offshore websites, but has not been tested yet.

Key Developments
Freeview New Zealand rolled out on demand service FreeviewPlus on their satellite platform, meaning that the service is no longer subject to coverage restrictions, being available across New Zealand with a compatible device. The first technology of its kind in New Zealand, FreeviewPlus combines all available On Demand content from TVNZ Ondemand, 3NOW & Māori Television On Demand, with live free-to-air broadcasts – creating an impressive library of top New Zealand and international content all in one place, available to enjoy any time, subscription-free. New Zealand welcomed U.S. home and lifestyle brand HGTV as a new free channel available to all New Zealanders. HGTV is the dedicated destination for the very best in home improvement, DIY, design, real estate and gardening television content. HGTV launched on Freeview channel 17 in June 2016. IndiaCast strengthened its footprint in the New Zealand market. In February 2016, IndiaCast reinforced Viacom18’s COLORS’ presence to viewers in New Zealand, giving access to offerings from the COLORS content library as part of SKY’s foreign language subscription channel line-up. The COLORS bouquet of offerings includes a combination of fiction dramas, nonfiction, reality shows, LIVE events and blockbuster movies. The programming line-up caters to many entertainment needs of the Indian Diaspora across the world making COLORS the one-stop entertainment destination for viewers. New Zealand’s Rialto channel debuted in Asia with plans to reach 11 countries in the region with an estimated reach to 186 million households by 2017. The new documentary channel comprises approximately 20 per cent New Zealand content with the rest coming from the U.S., Britain and Asia, along with local content from the region. Rialto Channel, a premium pay-TV channel in New Zealand has been in operation for 17 years on the Sky platform. They also air other genres including British films, foreign films, documentary channels and more.

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