Netflix will rock the pay TV market where Lightbox only gave it a gentle nudge. It was not so long ago Sky TV had a monopoly.

With Netflix coming in March, the question is whether New Zealand can sustain five internet TV subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services. Netflix has not spelled out details.

In my opinion the winner will be decided not by price but on who can secure exclusive rights to quality programming.

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SVOD - where viewers pay a monthly fee to access a back catalogue of TV shows on the internet - is a niche, after all.

The two oldest operators are Quickflix and Ezyflix - the latter offering movies rather than a back catalogue of TV shows.

Spark's Lightbox launched three months ago and plays down the arrival of Netflix, which is causing upheavals in TV markets around the world.

Lightbox faces the biggest challenge of the corporate big boys. But its survival is assured.

The TV service is symbolic of a new look now Telecom has been revamped into the new racy image of Spark.

The company is deeply committed to holding on and is prepared to make losses on its start-up.

Sky TV's Neon launches some time next month, and its exclusive access to premium shows from HBO will be a big boost.

But Sky TV has a delicate balancing act. It has to make Neon good so Netflix and Lightbox are kept at bay.


But Neon can't be too bright. Otherwise subscribers will drop out of its much more expensive standard pay TV service, and Sky TV will lose money.