David Shearer and Sky TV

the tipline

Clare Curran has blogged in the past about the activities of Sky TV:

There’s been a bit of discussion in the media in recent weeks about the alleged stanglehold that Sky has on our video content market. Chris Barton wrote in the NZ Herald that “suddenly internet providers all over New Zealand are providing unmetered plans for Sky’s video content. You can download unlimited data – as long as it’s Sky”.

Sarah Putt has written extensively in Computerworld on these issues with this piece and last week with this piece which took aim at the detail of the contracts between Sky and the ISPs.

The big question is whether Sky’s exclusive deals have the effect of preventing other contracts to provide online audiovisual content that compete against Sky. The Igloo deal with TVNZ is a means for the pay TV provider to capture another market at a lower entry price which can potentially be upgraded to a fuller service. Given the convergence of the internet and broadcasting environments this positions TVNZ and Sky to potentially dominate the market in coming years and could prevent other existing and new players providing competition.

It seems that Labour, and Clare Curran are concerned, rightly, about the monopoly activities of Sky TV.

Clare Curran has also commented on the activities of Sky TV’s Tony O’Brien and his lobbying access to parliament:

Ms Curran said MPs recognised lobbyists on all sides of a debate had value, regardless of whether they agreed with them or not.

She said the bill could also help address “unfair access” some lobbyists had to politicians, such as the 16 lobbyists who have swipe cards giving them entry to Parliament without going through the usual security checks. Those included Mark Unsworth and Sky TV’s Tony O’Brien.

So it was with a bit of interest when this tip rolled in on the tipline late last night.


I read the other day that Sky TV are the largest lobbyists to government.

This being the case what would Clare Curran say about her leader David Shearer having an intimate fireside chat at home this weekend with Tony O’Brien from Sky TV?

Tony O’Brien couldn’t care less about control over access to parliament he simply invites David Shearer around to his house for a bit of quiet lobbying over wine.

I wonder what indeed Clare would think about David Shearer being lobbied directly by the Sky TV chief at his home this weekend and whether or not we will see a change in policy from Labour as a result.

Or will Labour now lobby for a change to the anti-lobbyist bill to ensure that political leaders can’t be entertained at home by known lobbyists.


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  • Notrotsky

    Time for the army to attack – if only to get Greg Presland frothing.


  • TCrwdb

    …and what exactly did Labour do about Sky’s monopolistic position between 1999 and 2008?

  • MrV

    Yes SKY is virtually a monopoly for pay TV. However is it at natural monopoly?

    Could other providers start beaming off a satellite if they so desired? Of course they would need to pay international prices for content, so in that regard there are higher barriers to entry to compete with SKY.

    As far as I can see SKY has built the dominance it has because of the complete incompetance of TVNZ/TV3, is there anything SKY has done that TVNZ/TV3 couldn’t have? Even if it required TVNZ/TV3 to create a co-operative in some areas rather than fighting each other.

    In australia ABC has unmetered deals with plenty of ISPs for their iView (on-demand) service, which demonstrates a state broadcaster can do novel things.