Monday 27 February 2017 09:10 AM
Spark announces Netflix partnership in challenge to Sky TV- Vodafone bundling
By Jonathan Underhill
Feb. 27 (BusinessDesk) - Spark New Zealand has announced what it says is an exclusive deal with Netflix to offer bundled packages, just days after the Commerce Commission rejected Sky Network Television's proposed merger with Vodafone New Zealand on the basis it would stifle competition, especially in access to premium sports content.
Under the Spark-Netflix tie-up, Spark broadband customers will get a one-year subscription to Netflix’s standard plan when they signed up to a 24-month 'Unlimited Data Spark' broadband plan, the telecommunications company said in a statement. The Netflix deal would "sit alongside Spark's current Lightbox offer", it said.
Chief executive Simon Moutter said the deal was "consistent with our shift towards becoming a digital services provider, rather than just a traditional telco".
Sky TV's shares tumbled to their lowest level since mid-2009 last week, after the regulator rejected its proposed merger with Vodafone's New Zealand business, citing ownership of “all premium sports content” by a “strongly vertically integrated pay-TV and full-service telecommunications provider” as its key concern. The announcement wiped almost $300 million off Sky TV's market value on Feb. 23 and the shares closed last Friday at $3.77.
Spark shares ended trading last week at $3.565, the highest in almost two weeks.