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Topic # 79942 24-Mar-2011 11:24 Send private message

"Television New Zealand has taken a $14.8 million hit after writing off the entire value of its set top box business.
The state-owned broadcaster revealed yesterday that it now valued its 33 per cent stake in Hybrid Television Services, which cost it $9.7m two years ago, at zero.

Hybrid Television is a trans-Tasman business which distributes the TiVo set top boxes.

TVNZ's half-year results revealed a 45 per cent fall in after-tax profits to $4.9m despite a 10 per cent rise in operating revenue to $205.4m.

The fall in profits was driven by the Hybrid Television write-off. The write-down, which includes losses at the associate company, was revealed in TVNZ's otherwise strong results for the six months to December 31.

Chief executive Rick Ellis was unavailable for comment, but a spokeswoman for TVNZ said the broadcaster did not regret making the investment.

"Certainly not. It demonstrates I guess what you would call the incredibly fast-moving industry at the moment."

The TiVo boxes allow viewers to pause and record television shows on to a hard drive and fast forward through advertisements, similar to a service offered by Sky Television. The boxes include an internet connection to allow viewers to buy shows or archived TVNZ programming.

TVNZ did not disclose how many customers had bought the set top boxes in New Zealand. Last year Telecom, which has so far had exclusive rights to sell the TiVo boxes in New Zealand, halved the price of the product amid speculation of sluggish sales.

The spokeswoman said TVNZ "understood that sales were going very well". The write-off did not mean the broadcaster saw no future value in the business.

"Not necessarily, no. As with buildings and things, they can be valued up and valued down."

Earlier this year, Hybrid Television chief executive Robbee Minicola said the company was in negotiations with other internet providers to promote the TiVo boxes. There has been speculation the boxes may be stocked in mainstream consumer electronics stores.

The write-off does not affect TVNZ's current cash position.

During the period, TVNZ generated operating cash flow of $32.3m, an increase of $11.9m, with the broadcaster's debt plunging 61 per cent to $15.25m"

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/4802622/TiVo-worth-big-fat-zero-to-TVNZ




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  Reply # 451394 24-Mar-2011 11:38 Send private message

scuwp: The boxes include an internet connection to allow viewers to buy shows or archived TVNZ programming.


What a load... TiVo never had TVNZ On Demand programs. They've done that with PS3 instead.

Their own problem. The stupidity of selling TiVo through a phone store instead of consumer electronics retail was simply too much and killed the brand. Everyone thinks it's a Telecom New Zealand thing now.




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  Reply # 451403 24-Mar-2011 11:54 Send private message

freitasm: The stupidity of selling TiVo through a phone store instead of consumer electronics retail was simply too much and killed the brand. Everyone thinks it's a Telecom New Zealand thing now.


Everyone except Telecom stores, according to those on here who have tried to return faulty units directly to the store.

I can't help but think this whole thing centres around the EPG issue.  Freeview seems to be the only platform that has secured a full working EPG for all channels.  Anyone else who tries to source their EPG from anywhere different is running into problems, eg TIVO and PlayTV for PS3.

The whole lack of understanding about the digital TV implications by the average NZ public is disappointing.  I'm sure I could produce a clearer advert in a few hours than the marketing that I'm seeing by any party involved to date.

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  Reply # 451405 24-Mar-2011 12:08 Send private message


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  Reply # 451464 24-Mar-2011 14:22 Send private message

PLUS, TVNZ go and put their content on SKY's platform - Heartland, Kidzone. If they had put those channels on Freeview then I believe more people would pick up things like TiVo.

I would ditch Sky if Freeview had just a little bit more content. Something like a Box or Vibe, a doco channel/BBC thing, not much, but just a little more than they have now. I know that isn't TVNZs responsibility and they aren't the only partner in Freeview, but they are a SOE.

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  Reply # 451467 24-Mar-2011 14:36 Send private message

The fact that they put some of their channels exclusively onto sky, which is a competing product with their mysky device, hasn't helped. If those channels had been made exclusive to the tivo, and it was marketed and sold in retailers where you buy your TV, they could have sold so many more. I love the tivo system. I would like to see the government step in and create some real comptition in the TV market, so Tivo has all the free to air EPGs and all TVNZs channels. If that happened. I believe far more people would get a tivo, and it would create more competition for sky, as I believe many people get sky solely for the free to air channels. ALso if it had the ondemand programs, like the sony box. It does haev caspa, so I assume the ondemand stuff could have been easily added.

 

The other thing I think that has stopped people getting the tivo, is that some people think you have to be with telecom as your ISP to use it, which isn't true. It is only the unmetering of caspa contect that would require you to be with telecom. If you are with another ISP, you have to pay for that data. I beleive that other ISPs would going to also offer unmetered traffic on the tivo, but nothing as eventuated so far. However having to have it connected to a broadband connection, when some people don't have one doesn't help.

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  Reply # 451502 24-Mar-2011 15:52 Send private message

mattwnz: The other thing I think that has stopped people getting the tivo, is that some people think you have to be with telecom as your ISP to use it
Another good example.

There is just so much inaccurate information, slanted/biased information and just plain insulting and ineffective advertising/informing around freeview/digital TV it's just not funny.

Contrast the energywise ad campaign with the almighty johnson guy vs the freeview campaign with the multiple front people and assumption the country is full of dumb people incapable of comprehending the message.

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  Reply # 451548 24-Mar-2011 18:20 Send private message

trig42: PLUS, TVNZ go and put their content on SKY's platform - Heartland, Kidzone. If they had put those channels on Freeview then I believe more people would pick up things like TiVo.

I would ditch Sky if Freeview had just a little bit more content. Something like a Box or Vibe, a doco channel/BBC thing, not much, but just a little more than they have now. I know that isn't TVNZs responsibility and they aren't the only partner in Freeview, but they are a SOE.


My thoughts exactly.

Selling their content exclusively to Sky TOTALLY undermined Tivo from day 1.

talk about sh!tting in your own nest...




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  Reply # 451570 24-Mar-2011 19:39 Send private message

Lack of a full EPG and crippling the feature set of the box (see other posts in the Tivo forum) because of TVNZ's other business considerations didn't help (see other posts whioch have covered this). Alternative products aren't as crippled.

Kind of like the reverse of the Mitre 10 Mega ad - they turned it into a "You pay more, you get less!" value proposition.

That, and a crappy website, plus a retail sales channel (Telecom stores) where the staff don't seem to haver the basis training needed to discuss, promote, or even understand the unit didn't help.

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