Ben Hill is a reporter for The New Zealand Herald

My Box NZ makes play for Kiwi streaming audience

A screen grab from the My Box NZ instructional video. Photo / via video
A screen grab from the My Box NZ instructional video. Photo / via video

A business claiming it is "backed up" by MediaWorks is taking on Sky and entering the streaming box market.

My Box NZ owner Krish Reddy, 27, told the Herald the Android boxes his company sells are customised with Kodi software, and customers can access movies, TV shows and international channels.

They are imported from China and My Box NZ sells them for $259.

"It seemed like a great idea so we decided to do it ourselves," Reddy said.

On the business' Facebook page it says it is "backed up by big companies such as Media Works [sic] NZ".

Reddy said he advertised the product through MediaWorks radio stations.

The product's website lists that the box is "programmed with Freeview NZ, Sky TV channels (sky sports, sky movies and more) [sic]", and showed an image with a list of Sky TV New Zealand channels.

In a list of the box's features on the website it asks "Why pay $80 minimum per month for sky when for one payment you can have it free for good? [sic]".

After speaking with the Herald Reddy removed the list of New Zealand Sky channels from the website.

Reddy said he is not worried about the legality of his product.

"I spoke with lawyers before we started doing it, we are programming a box with a few basic links ... We can't control what you will find."

Reddy said channels broadcast by Sky in New Zealand wouldn't be available on the box, but Freeview and international channels would be.

It also has Netflix built in, but Reddy said customers will need to have their own paid account to access it.

He is not concerned about Sky raising any issues with him over his product.

"I don't see why they would contact me but if they do contact me and ... if there's something of theirs that they feel I've unlawfully taken then yeah ... but as it stands I don't [have any concerns]."

Reddy said he has been selling the units - which are imported from China - for five or six weeks, and has sold between 70 and 80 of them in that time.

Last month internet piracy expert Rick Shera warned that a similar product to My Box NZ could be infringing copyright by selling customised Android boxes.

He said there were "no [legal] precedents" in New Zealand or internationally in relation to the provision of online streaming boxes.

MediaWorks and Sky Television have been contacted for comment.

- NZ Herald

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