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Radio New Zealand Leaders Debates Live On Sky TV

Radio New Zealand Leaders Debates Live On Sky Television

Friday 5 August - SKY Television confirmed today that under a special arrangement with Radio New Zealand, it will screen two Radio New Zealand Leaders Debates live on SKY News Australia New Zealand (Channel 54).

Friday 19 August, 2005, at 7pm, the Prime Minister Helen Clark, and the Leader of the Opposition Don Brash will take part in a LIVE 60 minute debate. A second 90 minute Leaders Debate featuring leaders of the other main parties will broadcast LIVE at 2pm on Saturday August 27th.

The two debates, co-hosted by Radio New Zealand’s leading current affairs presenters, Sean Plunket and Linda Clark, will broadcast live from Wellington’s Opera House and the Circa Theatre.

A SKY Television panel comprising three political analysts will join host Mike Hosking for a 30 minute discussion and analysis at the conclusion of each debate.

According to SKY’s Director of Communications, Tony O’Brien, "Radio New Zealand’s Leaders Debates provide an ideal forum for the party leaders to clearly express their policy positions, as well as provide information to the public. In the United States, the Presidential debates are the most watched event of the election campaign. We believe SKY’s exclusive television coverage of the Radio New Zealand debates will similarly offer a unique contribution to political reporting in New Zealand in this election year.”

Radio New Zealand Chief Executive, Peter Cavanagh, reinforced the value for audiences of Radio New Zealand’s first ever joint simulcast venture:

“Radio New Zealand has taken the opportunity to extend the audience for its comprehensive election coverage by delivering the Radio New Zealand Debates to a wider television audience. The combined resources of Radio New Zealand’s quality news and current affairs teams, and the knowledge and experience of the Radio New Zealand Parliamentary Gallery when combined with SKY Television coverage, make these debates an essential appointment for both listeners and viewers in the lead up to September 17th. “

-ends-

About SKY Television

SKY Television (SKY), broadcasting via both UHF and DTH is New Zealand’s pre-eminent Pay TV operator, offering a wide range of sports, movies, music, on-demand and general content across more than 80 channels. SKY’s channel line-up includes 6 sports channels, 5 movie channels, 5 general entertainment channels, 4 documentary channels, 3 news channels, 3 children’s channels, as well as other niche channels. (At end-December 2004, SKY had 590,777 subscribers.)

SKY launched as a three-channel UHF service in 1990, with two further channels added four years later. SKY’s UHF signal reaches more than 83% of the country’s 1.5 million households. In December 1998 it launched a digital satellite service, extending its reach to the whole country. SKY also offers pay-per-view movies, live events and interactive services including Skybet, the Weather Channel, and games channel Playin’ TV.

With the establishment of a new on line DVD rental service and soon, a new set top box incorporating a personal video recorder, SKY is positioned to bring New Zealand viewers even more entertainment options.

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