Sky TV fingers competitors

Sky TV is pointing the finger at competitors after the Commerce Commission announced an investigation into its content contracts with ISPs yesterday.

Sky TV is pointing the finger at competitors after the Commerce Commission announced an investigation into its content contracts with ISPs yesterday.

John FelletChief executive John Fellet says the investigation under sections 27 and 36 of the Commerce Act is down to "complaints by our competitors”.

He said he understood why the commission had to look into its majority pay TV venture with TVNZ – Igloo, set to launch in June – and that giving the go-ahead showed the commission was not there to give a leg-up to inefficient competitors.


Telecom and Vodafone say they will cooperate with the commission on its new enquiry.

Quickflix says it raised the issue of Sky's dominance in submissions in relation to the current study into barriers to uptake of high speed broadband.

"Our own experiences in launching  Quickflix   here   have   illustrated   that   the   issues   raised   by   the   commission   are   serious   and  real," managing director Paddy Buckley said.

There are rumblings of discontent at TelstraClear (which provides Sky content via its T-Box set-top boxes) and MediaWorks has also voiced concern about the Igloo venture, which it says will hamper potential for competition and "further cement Sky's control of premium content".

Fellet is adamant the New Zealand TV market is among the most competitive in the world.


"Between Freeview and Sky there are more channels per capita than in any other market, and there is competition from new entrants, especially from overseas such as Quickflix. Competition for content in New Zealand is so intense that the price that content providers receive from NZ broadcasters for shows like Desperate Housewives, CSI, Downton Abbey and for the rugby is probably the highest per capita in the world as well.”