23 Feb 2017

Tech companies still keen on Sky TV after merger rejection

7:53 pm on 23 February 2017

Sky TV's merger plans with Vodafone may have been rejected by the Commerce Commission today, but other tech companies are keen to partner up with the broadcaster.

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Sky's dominance of high-profile sports like All Blacks matches helped scuttle the merger, but may still lead to more opportunities. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Sky Television's share price slumped to its lowest level in eight years today after the commission revealed its decision.

Sky had said it needed a merger with a mobile operator to ensure its future and get access for its wide range of programme content to customers in a changing market.

But the commission said the key issue was Sky's exclusive broadcast rights for most sporting events, including international rugby matches, and its adverse impact on rivals.

2Degrees spokesman Matthew Bolland said it would have been difficult for his company to win customers already locked up with a firm that could exclusively offer the All Blacks.

He said he hoped the decision would open up opportunities for offering programme content online and over mobile phones, beyond the traditional broadcasting model.

"We've had discussions with Sky, and we're waiting for them to come back with something that goes beyond the re-sale model that they've had. And we're hoping that they will be open to re-packaging, cutting and dicing things in a way that gets their product to more customers, and we'd like to be a partner in doing that."

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