Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Amazon to buy Sky TV NZ?

22 November 2018

Just about every Kiwi loves to hate Sky TV.

For decades, Sky TV has held NZers to ransom after obtaining a near-monopoly in the subscription TV market throughout the country. If you wanted to watch pay TV, Sky was usually your only option.

Although things started well enough, with a monthly subscription meaning you got to watch several channels of uninterrupted content without advertising, the corrupting influence that is a monopoly stranglehold on any market soon began to kick in.

Most channels began to carry ads and the best content was shifted to "premium" channels which carried an extra cost as Sky tightened the thumbscrews on subscribers.

Even those Sky customers who felt that they'd had enough were forced to stay... if they wanted to watch key sports events that Sky had cleverly tied up the rights for.

Rugby, cricket, Formula 1, Supercars, Netball... many of NZ's most popular sports were only broadcast live on Sky so even when other subscription-based providers of movies and TV programs began to appear, Sky's vise-like grip was still strong.

Even so, Sky has been losing customers very rapidly over the past couple of years, most likely due to the effect that Netflix has had on those who seek only some good old evening entertainment.

To try and arrest the subscriber-flight, Sky rejigged its pricing structure a little and offered "fan passes" which give temporary access to various sports events.

Alas, this was to little avail and the exodus continues.

There has been much speculation that if Sky loses the screening rights for the crucial sporting codes that allow it to maintain a monopoly in this market sector, the company will be done-for. And, with the announcement that Spark had outbid Sky for some key sporting rights, it would appear as if we're seeing the beginning of the end for the former monopoly that is Sky TV.

Now, as if to add fat to the fire, Amazon has gone on a sports-rights shopping spree in the USA and has been seen to be bidding heavily to purchase 22 cable TV sports channels to beef up its own sports offerings.

Perhaps the speculation that Amazon could buy key sports rights right here in New Zealand have some substance after all.

In fact, I believe we're going to see something very interesting happening in our sports and entertainment broadcasting/streaming market sometime over the next 12 months.

In the UK, Sky TV UK did a deal with Netflix to effectively carry Netflix programming on its own broadcast networks and to sell subscriptions to that service.

Look for something very similar to happen here (if Sky's board has its head screwed on properly). I'm betting that we'll either see Sky TV NZ teaming up with Netflix... or we'll see an offer from Amazon to purchase Sky TV NZ outright, thus giving them access to sporting rights and (perhaps more importantly) locking Netflix out of any form of "deal" with the broadcaster.

All the parties I've mentioned have a sound awareness of the importance that market dominance and defacto monopoly status has in driving profits. Far better to spend hard and become that dominant or monopoly provider than to waste money trying to compete for a "share" of that same market.

I'd love to hear from readers on this. What do you think?

Is there a pretty good chance that we'll see Sky TV NZ either teaming up with or receiving a buy-out offer from Netflix or Amazon sometime in the next year or so?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

Recent Columns

You know the media is lost when...
Once upon a time we all looked to the daily newspaper for our knowledge of current affairs and events...

Penny-wise, pound-foolish
After a glorious weekend I think (hope) it's safe to say that summer has finally arrived in Godzone...

Thanks Warehouse (not!)
In a recent column I lamented the fact that educational and scientific toys seem to be hard to find these days...

The Aussie Government is mental
According to the media, the Australian government look set to pass its law baning unbreakable end-to-end encryption before Christmas...

Magnetic memory, hacks and idiocy
There was nothing that reached out and grabbed me as the subject for today's column so I'm going to just brush over a few items of interest instead...

Buy a book and save the planet?
EBooks are the future and eBooks are environmentally friendly... right?...

The joke that is weather forecasting
I'm getting sick and tired of these cold mornings and rainy days during a time when we ought to be starting to see protracted periods of warmer, drier weather...

Something stinks in Godzone
New Zealand has a housing crisis...

Is the Huawei ban just hypocrisy?
The NZ government has stepped in and told Spark that it can't use Huawei gear to build its 5G cellular network...

New Wifi protocols on the way
Wifi is cool tech...

Another Mars landing
As I type this, there's a window on my screen showing the live scene at the mission control centre for the Insight Mars mission...