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New Zealand - TV

The main ‘terrestrial’ channels in New Zealand are operated by Television New Zealand (TVNZ). This is a corporation which is owned by the government and channels are broadcast in other parts of the Pacific as well as New Zealand, including the Cook Islands and the Solomon Islands. The programmes are provided by TVNZ, although the scheduling is arranged on the islands themselves. It is estimated that TVNZ has around a 45% audience share through its two terrestrial channels.

Channels offered by TVNZ include TV One. This is intended to be for older audiences with many current affairs, sports and new programmes. TV2 is aimed at a younger audience and offers many drama programmes, comedies and reality shows. These are a mix of New Zealand produced programmes and those bought from the US. This channel shows programmes such as ‘Shortland Street’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Gossip Girl’, all of which are very popular with New Zealanders.

TVNZ 7 is a channel which has no commercials and is available via Sky television or Freeview. TVNZ also launched the Heartland channel which is a pay-TV channel. This features only programmes which are made in New Zealand. The quality of programming made in New Zealand is reasonably good. The TVNZ ondemand service is internet based and viewers can watch programmes for up to three months after they were originally aired.

In addition to TVNZ, free channels are provided by MediaWorks, which operates TV3 and C4 and which accounts for around 17% of the audience share. Freeview was set up by the government in 2006 so that those who did not want a satellite or cable service can receive a number of terrestrial and other channels in digital format, although via Freeview you cannot receive as many channels as you can via a cable or satellite provider.

Sky TV is the main pay TV service in New Zealand and accounts for around 26% of the audience share. All of the free channels are made available via the Sky Satellite system. The TelstraClear cable service features channels and programming which is made available to them by Sky. Sky TV can currently be obtained by all the homes in New Zealand and there are estimated to be 1.1 million homes that already have a satellite system installed, almost 70%. The service also offers a digital TV recorder service known as ‘My Sky’.

There are 110 channels available via Sky services. Customers begin with a basic package of 52 channels which include news stations, entertainment, sports, music and radio channels. Additional channels such as extra sports or movie channels can be added on to the service for an extra monthly fee. Pay per view began in 2000, with sporting events and a box office system for the latest movies available at a one off fee per screening.

Television sets which are taken to New Zealand from other countries would need to be adapted because of the different systems and frequencies that are used. It is possible but it is expensive and would be cheaper to simply purchase a new set when you arrive in the country. There is no longer a television licence in New Zealand.

In order to connect customers can simply use a standard aerial and TV to obtain terrestrial channels. Freeview is a set-top box which can be attached to the TV via a SCART lead to pick up both terrestrial and some other channels. This is a one off payment and installation can be carried out by anyone. In order to have satellite TV or cable installed you will need to contact the company. An engineer is required for both unless your home has equipment left by a previous tenant. You will be asked to provide proof of address.

Those who have satellite or cable services pay a monthly fee and if your subscription is a standard price each month you can simply pay the cost via direct debit and you may not receive a monthly bill. Cable services do often come with telephone services so you would receive a bill for these which can be paid either by direct debit or over the counter at a bank or post office.

Useful Resources

SKY Television
PO Box 9059
Tel: 0800 759 759
Email: online enquiry form on website

Private Bag 92143
Auckland 1142
New Zealand
Tel: 0508 888 800
Email: online enquiry form on website

Read more about this country

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