Radio and out of home media company, MediaWorks, has today completed the sale of its free-to-air TV business to Discovery, originally announced in September 2020.
MediaWorks entertainment channels Three and Bravo, streaming service ThreeNow, and multi-platform news and current affairs service Newshub have now been officially separated from the company’s radio and out-of-home business.
The latter have been retained by MediaWorks Group, and have become part of Discovery Ltd.
MediaWorks TV Ltd will now operate as Discovery NZ Limited, and will look to combine Discovery’s businesses across New Zealand and Australia into one organisation spanning both countries, a move designed to increase scale across the region as a whole.
Michael Anderson, CEO of MediaWorks says that the sale has enabled the business to invest in and advance an ongoing strategy to realise the combined potential of the radio and out-of-home platforms.
“MediaWorks’ focus will be on implementing key strategic initiatives to deliver long term growth, which includes our exclusive three-year broadcasting rights partnership with New Zealand Cricket, amongst others,” says Anderson.
The completion of the sale comes ahead of MediaWorks’ newly appointed Group CEO, Cam Wallace, who will take over from Anderson on January 11, 2021.
Simon Robinson, Discovery President APAC, says that today’s announcement is an exciting moment for Discovery as the company looks to significantly expand its operations in New Zealand and look to create a trans-Tasman powerhouse organisation led by general managers Glen Kyne, and Rebecca Kent.
“The acquisition of MediaWorks TV, with its popular brands and prominent position in New Zealand, will be pivotal in achieving long-term growth and success in both markets,” says Robinson.
Discovery has had a presence in Australia and New Zealand for more than 25 years, when it first launched Discovery Channel on Foxtel and Sky. In addition to the Discovery NZ Limited brands, the New Zealand portfolio includes free-to-air channels, Choice and HGTV, and six pay-TV channels – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, Living and Discovery Turbo.
“I am incredibly excited to officially join the Discovery family today and welcome this new beginning for our people, audiences and customers, as well as the production companies that we support both locally and abroad,” says Kyne.
MediaWorks Group will continue to focus on the growth and success of its radio and out-of-home media businesses, and accelerate its market-leading position with more than 2.4 million weekly listeners and 1,700 advertising panels.
“MediaWorks has long been a staple of the New Zealand news, entertainment and current-affairs industry. Together with Cam’s experience and dedication, I look forward to building an even greater future for MediaWorks’ radio and out-of-home business alongside a stellar management team and, most importantly, committed and passionate staff and clients,” adds Matthews.