TVNZ to launch new channel on Sky

(Source: ONE News)

Television New Zealand is set to launch a new channel on Sky TV's pay platform that will feature 100% local content.

The channel, which will be called TVNZ Heartland, will feature classic TVNZ shows as well as more recent TVNZ content.

It will be part of the basic Sky subscriber package and will air from June.

TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis says the move to include pay TV in the company's portfolio of platforms is part of TVNZ's strategy "Inspiring New Zealanders on Every Screen".

"A key part of our strategy is to reach more New Zealanders in more ways, particularly for local content, and given that Sky is in 50% of New Zealand homes, we saw that as a terrific opportunity to expand the offering of local content to New Zealanders," he says.

He says programmes broadcast on free-to-air channels, such as TV ONE or TV2, will usually only get one or two plays. With New Zealand to next year celebrate 50 years of television, TVNZ has built up a "huge vault" of content and he says TVNZ Heartland will help release that.

TVNZ Heartland will contain advertisements, but Ellis says while the move will help create another revenue stream for TVNZ, it is more about expanding the accessibility of New Zealand content. Advertisement

Sky TV CEO John Fellet says TVNZ's vault includes some of New Zealand's most beloved shows and has described it as the "biggest untapped resource since the Maui oil fields".

One of the pay TV network's most popular channels is UKTV, to which Heartland has some parallels.

"We're still working out all the details but if it comes even close to the UKTV numbers we'll be ecstatic," Fellet says.

TVNZ Heartland's programme schedule will be revealed at a launch event in May.

The channel was not available on Freeview, and had a website

The Channel's First 10 Minutes


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The channel ceased broadcasting 31 May 2015

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