Sky TV is catching up with the move to online television by developing the subscription video on demand service Neon and building catch-up services such as Sky Go.
But chief executive John Fellet rejects the idea of the early death of the linear TV channels that are the foundation for Sky, and he is still putting resources into digital satellite channels.
The company will upgrade MySky in March, giving much more access to back issues of shows, and Fellet is developing Sky's own channels.
Programming and branding local channels is more expensive than bringing in big brands such as Discovery or National Geographic channels from overseas.
But Sky TV says its own channels - Box, Vibe, The Zone and Jones! - on the basic package and the free-to-air channel Prime are delivering good audiences and returns.
SoHo, a premium drama channel that costs extra, has been a commercial hit for Sky.
The Arts channel, now wholly owned by Sky, battled to make a commercial return although Sky says it is performing well now.
Sky is also part-owner of the arthouse film channel Rialto.
Local channels might seem quaint in a media world built increasingly around global brands but Sky's head of general entertainment, Karen Bieleski, says they are valuable in pay television.
"Local branding is worth the effort because it defines you as different and something that nobody else can have."
But being different does not appear to be about local content.
Nostalgia channel Jones! rarely includes Kiwi content, but its success appears to be built on its branding and imagery that aims across generations at parents and their kids.
The Box, with CSI, Hawaii Five-O and NCIS, was born from Sky 1 in 1998 with programming skewed toward a male audience and became The Box in 2008, countering the female-orientated Vibe (Desperate Housewives) which started in 2007.
Bieleski says both The Box and Vibe benefit from a focus on "procedurals" - shows about police, lawyers or hospitals that are self-contained with conclusions at the end of each episode.
Factors in these shows' success was that audiences did not require a commitment, and they could bear several repeats.
The newest Sky-owned channel is the science fiction-orientated
The Zone, which Bieleski says is a good example of Sky opting to programme its own channel rather than buying in an overseas channel.
"We ... found that while overseas science fiction channels had stripped reality programming - paranormal houses, that sort of thing - New Zealand audiences did not want it."
SoHo was developed around Sky's rights to HBO content but it also has the option to include shows from other sources.
It recently renewed its digital rights to HBO product.
According to Sky, it has been a branding and commercial success. Australian pay TV platform Foxtel has picked up the branding for its own premium drama channel. It is understood that Sky originally considered including SoHo as part of the basic channel but feared a revolt if it had to charge all subscribers more.
Viewer numbers on Sky's Arts Channel and part-owned arthouse cinema channel Rialto are tiny compared with sport, so it has never considered the three channels as a package in their own right.
The most controversial local entertainment initiative for Sky was when it bought the free-to-air channel Prime in 2005.
The industry was concerned Sky would use its programme-buying muscle power to secure content.
The predictions have not come to pass although Sky's dominance of sports rights bidding is the single biggest factor in its success.
Bieleski says Prime's fortunes have improved with access to a programming deal with CBS and a change that enables the channel to get taxpayer subsidies for local content such as Brokenwood and The Anzac Girls.
Sky's Neon service still weeks away
Consumers are still waiting for the Neon glow of Sky TV's new subscription video on demand service.
Neon will compete with established competitors Quickflix, Lightbox and eventually with Netflix.
Technical glitches delayed the launch past Christmas and now in the midst of the silly season it is unlikely Neon will launch before the end of this month, when promotions will draw attention.
It is true that Sky TV has been in no rush to match Spark's SVOD service, Lightbox, which launched in August.
But with United States giant Netflix set to start here in March there is a danger new SVOD competitors could eat into Sky's revenue from its more expensive linear channels platform.
The shift of television to the internet is part of the long-running fragmentation of media that means young consumers pick up content from numerous sources and compose their own viewing line up.
The balancing act for Sky is for Neon to draw that audience without cannibalising subscribers from its premier service.
Sky is betting that for every one of these early adopters who wants to trawl through content, there will be many who want to have traditional channels.
Beyond that, Sky general entertainment boss Karen Bieleski questions whether this tendency in young consumers will diminish once people are settled down with children. In this view, the heavily branded linear channel has a long life to come.
Sky acknowledges the full premier service is not for everyone.
But spokeswoman Kirsty Way says: "If we have a Sky customer who is going to leave us anyhow we would much rather they find value in a $20 a month package Neon and stay with us rather than leave us altogether."