NZ gets 'free' internet TV

Rose Major

Two New Zealand internet companies, along with New Zealand telco TelstraClear will this week launch what they claim is the country’s first free internet TV network. From September 1, Ziln will feature New Zealand channels playing both linear and on-demand programming, plus 14 international news and business channels streaming live.

Much of the new service is available free of charge
although there will be some pay-per-view content available. The free-to-air content will be advertising-funded.

TelstraClear has not put cash into the service, but has linked for a marketing partnership. But the telco’s internet subscribers will not yet be able to watch Ziln unmetered, with TelstraClear wanting to assess take-up before deciding whether to let subs watch it without eating into their broadband data allowances.

Ziln is targeting 100,000 viewers a month within six months, some 10% of the country’s broadband subscribers.

Local programming will consist at launch of two on-demand “channels” – the Oudoors Channel and NZ Archive. Other on-demand programming will come from aviation service Airside TV, The Travel Channel, TrendsTV, on-line shopping service The Shopping Club and Pacific TV.

International channels available on the service include Zee News, Chinese channel CCTV9, Voice of America, France’s TV5 Monde, Russia Today, Spain’s TVE, Germany’s DWTV, Channel News Asia, Euronews, Al Jazeera and Bloomberg.