CAPTION: MediaWorks owner Oaktree Capital risks being shut out by mega-media companies
Sky TV has previously been suggested as a potential buyer for MediaWorks – both its TV operations and more profitable radio operations. I understand investigations have been advanced in the past, but it has never come to anything, partly due to concerns about the long term future of the free-to-air business. In my opinion, MediaWorks is at risk of being left out during a massive upheaval that sees NZME merging with Fairfax New Zealand, and now Sky merging with Vodafone. Not only that, the company is currently leaderless. MediaWorks’ US owners Oaktree Capital are running out of potential local buyers, and its main competitors for buying programming is getting more powerful, not less. Details of the Sky Vodafone proposal might be spelt out by the NZX later today – and no matter who is buying who, there is likely to be a change throughout the media world. Sky has some advantages as the biggest owner of TV rights in New Zealand. A. Does it makes sense to pick up MediaWorks alongside the other mergers? And B. What is the going rate for a second-hand TV channel right now?