CAPTION: Newspapers and pay TV are in an Olympian tussle.
They claim that the agreement requires them to sign away fair dealing rights for the Games. Sky insists that is because it is offering more than fair dealings anyway. Sky also insists it is giving away more than other video rights holders and is offering to sell further rights. The terms 0f those sales are not clear. In my opinion this appears to be something of a public relations play by the newspaper companies which are taking the high ground claiming they are staying home as a matter of journalist integrity.
Sky TV spokeswoman Kirsty Way said that if media took more than their allotted free video content, Sky would seek an injunction to stop them.
Sky pulls the plug on Igloo on March 31 next year. It’s four-year lifespan is a tribute to Sky TV and its finessing of the New Zealand pay TV market. The set top box was a hybrid of free to air channels and 13 basic sky channels for $19.95 a month. It allowed movie streaming of pay-per-view movies on broadband but it never really caught on. Until September Sky TV will offer Igloo subscribers the basic Sky package at the Igloo price of $19.95 fee and partial refunds on set top boxes. Initially a joint venture with TVNZ, Igloo was an attempt by arch-rivals to work together rather than against one another. Sky was more ambivalent about the venture than TVNZ.
More media changes are likely later this year, according to my sources in the sector. The proposed merger of NZME and Fairfax New Zealand was followed on Thursday by Vodafone’s proposed takeover of Sky TV. Zagzigger.com has questioned whether MediaWorks will be left out in the cold, (Room For Me, I Got 3, below) and the same question applies to Television New Zealand.
In my opinion TVNZ cannot afford to sit back and do nothing. And it is hard to see how it will compete in the new world order of merged digital media firms. Sources familiar with Government thinking said that Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams is considering a “slight” change to more public service content TVNZ, though this is not defined.