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Sky Digital Reaches New Heights

Media Release - Sky New Zealand

SKY Digital subscriber numbers reached 110,000 today, signalling New Zealanders enthusiasm for digital television. The 10% a month growth rate in subscriptions (since late last year) is expected to accelerate further as the winter rugby season gets underway. Sky anticipates its rights to broadcast the Telecom Super 12 series, NPC, NRL and rugby internationals will entice new customers.

Chief executive Nate Smith said digital subscription numbers were very pleasing, particularly given normal viewer attrition over the summer months.

"Subscriptions have been up and the disconnect-rate is the lowest it’s ever been over the summer period. Securing the cricket series has definitely worked well for us," Mr Smith said.

New Zealanders have been quick to acknowledge the benefits of digital television. It's taken just 20 months to get to the 100,000-subscriber milestone. The UHF service, launched in 1990, took 4 years to reach the same number of subscriptions.

Sky Television launched in 1990 with a three-channel UHF service. The digital service was added in 1998 and now gives viewers access to 24 channels including ESPN, National Geographic, Fashion TV and the recently launched 24-hr, kids-dedicated channel, Nickelodeon.

Interactive services such as e-mail on the TV, games, and shopping are scheduled for introduction later in the year.


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