Television NZ has produced a healthy improvement in earnings with a $19.7 million profit - up 12.7 per cent on last year.

That mean it will give $13.8 million to taxpayers compared with $4.9 million last year.

However, the state-owned broadcaster's ill fated investment in digital recorder TiVo has wiped $17.7 million off the bottom line for the year to June.

Final net profit was $2.1 million, compared with an after-tax loss of $26 million for the previous year.


Chief executive Rick Ellis said that the improvement in advertising came from a combination of strong performances from its main channels "with TV2 performing like a rock star".

Combined with its digital TV assets, such as tvnz.on demand, it had boosted advertising returns by $22.6 million. Operating earnings rose 164 per cent to $31.8 million in the year ended June 30.

Tivo had been disappointing, Ellis said. But TVNZ was still committed to the digital video recorder device - meant to challenge MySky - and was happy for it to "tick over".

"It is operating on a positive cashflow basis."

TVNZ ad revenue for the year was $302.7 million, up $18.4 million or 6.5 per cent above the year before.

During the year the company started two new channels, free-to-air channel U - which replaced public service channel TVNZ 6 and a second pay channel, TVNZ Kidzone 24, made into a pay channel on Sky.

SkyTV yesterday announced a profit for the year to June of $122 million and rewarded investors with an extra big payout.

Sky subscribers increased by 27,024 to a record of 829,421.

Of those 189,975 or 35 per cent had a MySky recording device.