The channel, named TVNZ Heartland, will be New Zealand’s first channel with 100 percent local content and will be available to all subscribers to the SKY basic package.
Chief executive Rick Ellis says TVNZ Heartland would be a showcase of New Zealand’s best home-grown television.
“Heartland will be a celebration of New Zealand and New Zealanders through some of our finest TV shows – some classics and some more recent shows.”
Mr Ellis says the move to include pay TV in the company’s portfolio of platforms was a logical extension of TVNZ’s strategy “Inspiring New Zealanders on Every Screen”, which began in 2006.
“We’re delighted to be entering the pay TV market in partnership with SKY TV, as a complement to our free-to-air business,” he says.
“SKY’s enthusiasm for the idea has given us an opportunity to build a commercially-viable channel that will bring first class New Zealand content to a big audience. Without the SKY pay platform, this project would not have gone ahead.”
John Fellet, CEO of SKY Television, is equally delighted.
“This vault of content which includes some of New Zealand’s most beloved shows is the biggest untapped resource since the Maui oil fields,” he says.
The Heartland programme schedule will be released in May while the channel will go to air in June.