Sky Television holds 51% of a new paid TV service, with TVNZ holding 49% of Igloo, to launch in the first half of 2012. The service is being dubbed "pre-pay TV".
Igloo’s GM Chaz Savage says, “Igloo is literally telly made by Kiwis for Kiwis. We ran six months of research asking Kiwis what they wanted. They told us what channels they wanted and the fact that more choice and flexibility were key. We took all of that research and from it we created Igloo.”
The retail price of the set top box is yet to be confirmed but the company says it aims to sell it for under NZ$200. Once you’ve plugged it into your TV and UHF aerial you get all the free to air channels and you have the option to purchase a 30 day channel pack for around NZ$25 giving you access to 11 Igloo channels.
Igloo’s 11 channels will include Comedy Central, UKTV, Food TV, BBC World News and BBC Knowledge, MTV Hits, Kidzone24, National Geographic Channel, TVNZ Heartland, Animal Planet and Vibe.
You can also purchase live pay-per-view sports events and rent titles from a catalogue of over a 1,000 movies and TV episodes. On Demand films and TV episodes are streamed over your broadband connection and once purchased will be available to view as many times as you like for 48 hours.
You can opt in and out of paid content whenever you want, paying through the Igloo box or via the website for content you want to watch.
The Igloo box includes WiFi and Ethernet connections to access the On Demand content and enables you to purchase content from your couch. You will also be able to purchase content from the Igloo website www.igloo.co.nz. The Igloo box also features two USB ports, one to play your own home media like family movies, holiday snaps and music on your TV, the other to enable the live pause functionality.
“We’re so excited about launching this alternative for Kiwis,” says Chaz. “And we believe that if you invite Igloo into your home the world will arrive with it – from David Attenborough to Rhys Darby, from the All Blacks to Usain Bolt, from Lennon to Gaga, from Downton Abbey to The Kennedys. It’s all there and it’s never been easier to access.”
SKY’s CEO John Fellet says, “The launch of Igloo is perfectly timed to take advantage of the digital switch over and it will give Kiwis more choice about what television they watch and how they want to watch it.”
“We want to get as much great content to New Zealanders as possible,” adds TVNZ’s CEO Rick Ellis. “Joining forces with SKY and launching Igloo allows us to do just that – it opens up more great shows and programmes to many more Kiwi households.”
Chaz says, “EasyPeazy is the Igloo philosophy. From installation onwards it’s all about simplicity. All you need is a UHF aerial and you’re away laughing. No technician required. We think every home needs an Igloo.”