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TVNZ'S Digital Plans Remain Unchanged

TVNZ'S Digital Plans Remain Unchanged By Telstrasaturn Announcement

The decision by TelstraSaturn to postpone the launch of its satellite digital pay television service as reported in this morning's New Zealand Herald caught TVNZ by surprise.

TVNZ Chief Executive Rick Ellis met with TelstraSaturn CEO Jack Matthews this morning to discuss the implications of this decision. TelstraSaturn has reaffirmed its commitment to provide the necessary infrastructure to allow TVNZ to launch its free to air digital service at some time in the future.

Mr Ellis stated that TVNZ's contract with TelstraSaturn is about sharing infrastructure. This infrastructure now exists and is operational.

"Some of this morning's media reports incorrectly state that TelstraSaturn's proposed launch of its pay television service was a joint venture with TVNZ," said Mr Ellis. "This is not the case. TVNZ has no plans to enter the pay television market.

"The joint venture between TVNZ and TelstraSaturn, referred to in April at the time the agreements were signed between the two companies provides for us to share resources for the development of interactive digital content. This opportunity remains unchanged by TelstraSaturn's announcement.

"TVNZ's objective is and remains to bring a genuine digital free to air digital television service to all New Zealanders. We have always stated that we will ultimately be on multiple platforms as they develop in New Zealand, and as open access agreements are reached.

"TelstraSaturn and TVNZ have always said they wish to have an open access deal with Sky.

"It is important to note that TelstraSaturn's announcement does not impact on TVNZ's ability to launch a digital free to air service," said Mr Ellis.

Ends

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