The Commerce Commission has approved the Igloo TV service being launched as a joint venture between Sky and TVNZ, saying the offering is ‘unlikely to lessen competition in the pay TV market’.
However, the investigation has revealed concerns about access to content, causing the Commission to open a separate probe into Sky itself with regards to ‘potential difficulties that any entrant would face in entering the pay TV market’.
"While this was not part of this investigation, we are aware of concerns that access to content and Sky’s contracts with internet service providers may be hindering competition,” says Commerce Commission chair, Dr Mark Berry.
"As a result, we have now opened a separate investigation under sections 27 and 36 of the Commerce Act.”
Sky and TVNZ first announced Igloo in December. The service offers a bridge between Sky’s paid service and the free fare on offer through TVNZ, with 11 special Sky channels and access to pay-per-view sports and movies.
Two notable attempts have been made by other companies to enter the content market recently, the first by Australian content provider QuickFlix, which has been hindered by a lack of content, and the second by ISP Maxnet, who last week launched a sub-brand, Fyx, that allowed subscribers to bypass regional restrictions, only to close it down days later citing ‘matters that require further consideration’.