Lightbox comes out guns blazing with strong line-up

By Chris Schulz

'24: Live Another Day' Photo / Fox / Daniel Smith
'24: Live Another Day' Photo / Fox / Daniel Smith

Jack Bauer has escaped death traps and nuclear bomb attacks - can he survive the launch of a new pay-TV service in New Zealand?

Here's hoping. Last night's unveiling of Lightbox's line-up shows the ambitious on-demand service promises a strong collection of launch-day titles.

Bauer, in a shortened ninth season of 24, is Lightbox's biggest acquisition, and with positive overseas reviews fans of Keifer Sutherland's rogue CTU agent should be clamouring to see it.

But Lightbox isn't trying to cram all its guns into one holster. Swiping Outlander - a show based on Diana Gabaldon's hugely popular time travel novel series - away from competition is a big, bold, and probably expensive move.

So is bagging the video-on-demand rights for Mad Men's final season, the first half of which aired on Sky's SoHo earlier this year and is due to finish up its ad man wheelings and dealings in 2015.

And yes, there's a nice swag bag of older titles broadening Lightbox's appeal, including the zeitgeist-grabbing Breaking Bad, Netflix hit Orange is the New Black, the comeback fourth season of Arrested Development and FX's awkward adult comedy show Louie.

It seems an appealingly watchable line-up of binge viewing options that, depending on how well its platform runs, could well have TV addicts seriously contemplating their options.

But as Lightbox will well be aware, its biggest competition isn't free-to-air networks, Sky TV, Quickflix or Netflix - it's illegal downloaders. And they'll be much harder to sway.

- NZ Herald

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