Spark's new internet television service is aiming to attract
at least 70,000 paying customers by the middle of next year.
The venture, Lightbox, has launched in beta mode and is due
to become available to the wider public at the end of this
Due to have 5000 hours of content, Lightbox gives "all you
can eat"access to its content on up to five devices and named
hit shows Arrested Development, Outlander and 24 among its
The service is tipped to challenge existing pay-television
service Sky TV and provide an alternative for Kiwis who
access overseas services such as Netflix and Hulu through
Spark managing director Simon Moutter said, when reporting
the company's full-year result today, that Lightbox aims to
get 70,000 customers by June 30 2015.
To put that in perspective, Sky had 865,000 subscribers at
the middle of this year.
Moutter did not want to speculate on when Lightbox -- which
the company has spent $20 million on to date -- would break
"We launching a new venture we don't know what customer
appetite will be like and we're going to have to feel our way
as we go," he said.
However, Moutter said if the service was "very successful",
Spark could put more money and effort into it.
"If we get a really strong uptake, we'll increase our efforts
not just sit on our coat-tails," he said.
Moutter also responded to questions about Spark's plan to
build a new undersea telecommunications cable between
Auckland and Sydney.
The venture was being done together with Vodafone and
Asked to comment on speculation that Telstra wasn't going to
participate, Moutter said he wasn't prepared to talk about
what the partners were doing.
"It's still progressing through its approval process. Our
desire is to invest and get on with the build ... hopefully
[there will] be some news on that in the not so distant
future," he said.
If needed, Moutter said Spark would increase its position in
the venture but that it would prefer to have a number of
- By the NZ Herald