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Sky Announces Prime Local Line-Up for 2006

MEDIA RELEASE
20 March 2006


Sky Announces Prime Local Line-Up for 2006

SKY Television announced today that it has finalised the PRIME local production line-up for the first half of 2006, concluding a number of production and personnel deals securing both new and existing talent for the year ahead.

The negotiations and subsequent announcements have been somewhat delayed by the sale of PRIME to SKY, but as of today the following programmes can be confirmed:

1) ‘PRIME NEWS LIVE - FIRST AT 5.30’: This production sees a number of changes in both content and delivery. Firstly, the bulletin will be produced and fronted from PRIME’s Albany studios in association with SKY News Australia. The weekday news bulletin will be anchored by Eric Young, a journalist with over 25 years experience in news, sport and entertainment reporting. Weekend news will be anchored and co-produced by Suzy Clarkson who will also read and produce sports news during the week. Prime News parliamentary reporter, Barry Soper, will bring a fresh view to the coverage on New Zealand politics with a dedicated Wellington based team. Sports News will be read by Kelly Swanson-Roe. Barry Soper will be the PRIME NEWS parliamentary reporter based in Wellington. The entire bulletin will be produced from New Zealand by SKY News Australia Executive Producer, Andrew Booth. The first of the new bulletins will screen at 5:30pm on Monday 3 April 2006.

2) ‘HOLMES’: ‘HOLMES’ fronted by Paul Holmes will see a new night and timeslot and unveil a slightly different format. However, as always, the accent will be on people, with Paul giving us a unique insight into the personalities and motivations of current newsmakers from the worlds of entertainment, politics and sport. The first show of the new season will screen at 7:30pm on Wednesday 5 April 2006.

3) ‘GETAWAY’: Presented by New Zealand’s Charlotte Dawson. Currently in production, the new season ‘GETAWAY’ commenced Tuesday 7 March.

4) ‘SUPER 14 RUGBY’: Presented by former NZ Black Fern, Melodie Robinson. Featuring both a Saturday night match-of-the-round anchored at 9.05pm and a weekend highlights package each Sunday afternoon that will screen within the ‘BP ULTIMATE SPORTS SUNDAY’ show at 4.30pm.

5) ‘BP ULTIMATE SPORTS SUNDAY’. Presented by Andrew Mulligan, this remains the only weekend sports show that matters for New Zealand sports fans. Featuring an exclusive blend of Rugby, League, Cricket, Golf and Motorsport (including Formula 1 and Motor GP) BP ULTIMATE SPORTS SUNDAY is anchored every Sunday from 2pm to 5.30pm. This new programme is currently on air.

6) “OUT OF THE QUESTION’: Fronted by Mikey Havoc and featuring the forcefully frank personalities of Paul Holmes, Mike Hosking and Michael Laws, ‘OUT OF THE QUESTION” begins a new season later this year.

7) ‘WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE’: While this programme continues to be produced and broadcast from the studios of Channel 9, Australia, New Zealand contestants will still be eligible to appear on the programme from April contrary to recently incorrect media reports.

Meanwhile, PRIME favourites like TOP GEAR, DOCTOR WHO, EASTENDERS and ground-breaking BBC documentaries remain programming bedrocks for the channel. Viewers can also look forward to a variety of unique and sometimes controversial new series in the months ahead including the Ricky Gervais hit ‘EXTRAS’, the flagship BBC series PLANET EARTH, and the Golden Globe winning drama ‘WEEDS’.

PRIME’s new Channel Manager, Karen Bieleski, says: “While we are definitely taking a longer term view, we feel we can offer existing PRIME viewers ongoing surety having secured the watershed shows that have built the channel so far, while attracting some new viewers with our upcoming slate of local content and innovative new
comedies and dramas”.

ENDS

About SKY Television

On 8 February 2006, SKY completed the purchase of the New Zealand television business of Prime Television Ltd. The acquisition of a free-to-air channel will give SKY the opportunity to showcase its channels and programmes whilst ensuring that New Zealand consumers can view delayed free-to-air sports programmes such as rugby, rugby league and cricket in primetime.

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, 4 children’s channels, as well as other niche channels. (At 16 February 2006, SKY had 640,521subscribers.)

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 in December, the launch of MY SKY, a new set top box incorporating a personal video recorder, SKY is positioned to bring New Zealand viewers even more entertainment options.

For further information, please visit SKY’s web site at www.skytv.co.nz

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