Details of a new pay television platform due to launch in New Zealand in the first half of next year, have been unveiled in what has been labelled television's 'worst kept secret'.
Igloo, a joint venture between Television New Zealand and pay TV company Sky Network Television, will see the launch of a new set-top box offering user pays and free to air content.
This deal comes after TVNZ's failed bid to bring TiVo into New Zealand and after it took a $17.7 million charge on its Hybrid Television Services joint venture because the TiVo box didn't gain traction among Australians or New Zealanders.
TVNZ will be the junior partner in the Igloo deal with Sky holding a 49 per cent stake.
The set top box is expect to retail for under $200, with a 30-day channel pack expected to sell for about $25.
That will give users access to all the free to air channels as well as 11 igloo channels including Comedy Central, UKTV, Food TV, BBC World News and BBC Knowledge, MTV Hits, Kidzone24, National Geographic Channel, TVNZ Heartland, Animal Planet and Vibe.
Users will also be able to purchase live pay-per-view sports events and rent titles from a catalogue of mroe than 1000 movies and TV episodes.
The service has no installation cost, no long-term contracts or termination fees.
SKY chief executive John Fellet said the service was was "perfectly timed to take advantage of the digital switch over and it will give Kiwis more choice about what television they watch and how they want to watch it".
- NZ HERALD ONLINE