Telecom has shone a light on its new TV service but is not
saying when it will start.
The new internet-TV venture is called Lightbox and will be
available in 90 per cent of New Zealand homes with broadband
It will compete with subscription video-on-demand services
Quickflix, Ezyflix and an unnamed new Sky service.
Lightbox's head of programming and local content, Maria
Mahoney, said the streamed programming would be available for
a free seven-day trial which would enable customers to test
the service and whether their broadband was up to the task.
The Telecom scheme has attracted a lot of interest because
the company is taking on Sky TV, which dominates pay TV.
But it is not yet clear whether Lightbox will be able to
secure top TV shows ahead of Sky.
Lightbox will stream TV content online for $15 a month. Sky
has not revealed its prices.
Neither Telecom nor Sky TV have given a start date for their
Sky owns rights to many of its shows on the upmarket Soho
Channel, but Lightbox has named only three shows of its
The headliner is Vikings, a drama which has played on the
History channel overseas.
The Telecom operation also has rights to the latest series
and back copies of the long-running series 24, starring
Kiefer Sutherland, and non- exclusive rights to series one to
six of the slick US drama Mad Men, which has been on Soho.
Ms Mahoney said Lightbox would initially have series
programming only, but would expand to include movies and
Lightbox is starting with rights to around 5000 hours of
programming but Ms Mahoney said this would be increased.
Like Quickflix, Ezyflix and the new Sky streaming service,
Lightbox does not require a set-top box.
Customers who register can watch programming on up to five
designated devices such as computers, iPads and Airplay on
Apple TV. There is no contract or installation cost.
Ms Mahoney acknowledged that streaming programming would eat
into broadband data allowances.
She said data caps were getting bigger, but the company was
also talking to Telecom's Xtra and other ISPs about deals on
bigger data caps.