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Telecom reveals TV plans, lures with Vikings

Telecom reveals TV plans, lures with Vikings

By Suze Metherell

June 25 (BusinessDesk) - Telecom Corp, New Zealand's largest telecommunications provider, has detailed its new internet television plans, Lightbox, including luring customers with popular American primetime shows, as part of its business change as it chases earning growth.

The internet TV streaming service will launch in the coming weeks with 5,000 hours of content including Vikings, Mad Men and 24 - Live Another Day, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Telecom will charge $15 a month and will provide insight into the metrics at its August full-year announcement.

The company is in a time of transformation, changing its name to Spark in August and chasing earnings growth in a shift away from its traditional bread and butter telecommunications service to focus on data, mobility and cloud services. It is soft-launching an internet TV service this month.

Earlier this month it agreed to pay $17 million for cloud services specialist Appserv, widening the services it can offer to businesses after purchasing Revera last year. Closely-held Appserv, also based in Auckland, has more than 14 years of consistent growth and offers a complete IT infrastructure service to business.

Last week, Sky Network Television said it will launch a subscription video on demand service by the end of the year in a challenge to Telecom's own offering as well as ASX-listed Quickflix, Ezyflix and eventually US-based Netflix, which pioneered such offerings and will reportedly enter the local market officially in 2015. Telecom cancelled its decade-long resale contract with Sky TV in February.

The NZX-listed shares last traded at $2.66 and have advanced 15 percent this year.


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