In a nutshell, the incumbant broadcaster - sky television, New Zealand's primary pay TV broadcaster - lost broadcast rights to the EPL.
What subsequently came out, was the set up of http://premierleaguepass.com, a subscription based online service for watching all 380 games of the league.
Quite a way down in the press releases and articles that were released it noted that subscriber would be able to watch all the games on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPads, Androids and Apple TV devices.
This is where I think the service will fall down. Yes watching a footy match on your iPhone or android phone will be great - for a highlights package, while on the train or bus. But do they seriously expect people to watch all the games on these small screens?
What about those with their 50" televisions and surround sound audio? Will they connect a laptop to the TV every time they want to watch a game? Standing up by the TV to navigate the desktop designed web site?
Where is the ability to pause or rewind the game, via remote, from the comfort of their couch?
While I applaud the break from Sky TV, the online, ondemand model in New Zealand is not mature enough yet for mainstream use. To transition for the average joe, a device is needed, a set top box, connected to the TV as is the sky decoder, with a connection to the Internet, a remote, and the ability to load user selected channels. The reason for the user selected channels is becuase one single sport would not be able to sustain the costs of such a device by itself. It would take colaboration by a number of networks and services to be viable (TVNZ, TV3, C4, Prime for example).
Such a device already exists, in the US, a roku. The roku combines the simplicity of use with the ability to add user selected channels - either free or paid.
The Apple TV is another solution, but short of adding each game as an "episode" or persuading apple to host premier league site for the New Zealand region (of which apple would take a cut of the subscription as they do with Netflix and Hulu) then this would not happen either. To date apart from a number of US based services, only one other non US subscription based service has been added to the Apple TV (http://www.imore.com/apple-tv-gains-subscription-service-watchever-germany)
The other potential solution, is some of the smart TVs that currently sport App Stores. The Samsung Smart TVs allow for the loading of a TVNZ Ondemand App and a Quickflix App.
Exciting times, and hopefully this will be the start of a new model of ondemand television in this country.
Other related posts:
TVNZ Ondemand App behind UnblockUS Service - part II
TVNZ Ondemand App behind UnblockUS Service
Comment by hotdog, on 20-Jun-2013 09:13
The one thing I use is 5 meter cables, both VGGA and HDMI, gets the controls closer on the coffee table.
Comment by nzsouthernman, on 20-Jun-2013 15:48
For those iOS/MacOSX users get an AppleTV and broadcast your content from your device/Mac to the TV. Works really well.
Alternately, most TV's have VGA inputs now for those non-HDMI capable machines & tablets out there and can use that to get your content onto the PC.
Comment by ajobbins, on 21-Jun-2013 17:25
Maybe now's the time to become a Roku importer.
New STP for watching the EPL for the price of a Sky install...
Comment by merk, on 25-Jun-2013 10:46
I agree that having to plug in the laptop every time you want to watch a game is an inconvenience when compared to a static set-top box, but using a laptop on a TV isn't that much of a barrier.
It simply requires the user to plug in an HD cable, sit on the couch and operate it with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and perhaps adjust the OS text size (or ctrl+scroll on a web broswer) - thereby enjoying much closer control and fuller features than any smart TV or set top box can offer.