Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

TVNZ demands to go mobile

Tom Cotter wants viewers to watch TVNZ programmes legally.  Photo / Michael Craig
Tom Cotter wants viewers to watch TVNZ programmes legally. Photo / Michael Craig

TV viewers will soon be able to watch their favourite TVNZ shows anywhere from the bedroom to the bus, as the state broadcaster expands its video-on-demand service to smartphones and tablets.

The On Demand service will also be available through Samsung Smart televisions by the end of the year.

TVNZ digital media general manager Tom Cotter said that the move reflected the way that New Zealanders' habits were changing.

"We're moving from a free-to-air broadcast to a free-to-screen broadcast. Which screen is irrelevant. You can watch it with perfect picture quality anywhere you are. It's having the choice across all those devices."

Cotter said TVNZ chose to partner with Samsung because the technology used by both companies was similar.

TV companies such as Disney "are as keen as we are to make sure that customers are able to view it across devices," he said. "They see the benefits.

"We want to make it easier to watch TV than it is to steal it."

It's estimated that nearly half of New Zealanders owned smart phones, and one in 10 own tablets.

TVNZ's On Demand service has been available online since 2007, with viewer demand growing 'exponentially'.

So far this year they have attracted 20 million views, with average weekly streams up 42 per cent from last year. Shortland Street is easily the most watched show, with 423,000 hits in October.

The TVNZ video-on-demand app for smartphones and tablets will be available from early next year, making TVNZ the first commercial broadcaster in Australia or New Zealand to do so.

Sky TV spokeswoman Kirsty Way said the company had plans to make all of their channels available on smartphones and tablets.

- Herald on Sunday

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