Current Three logo, introduced in 2017.
|Launched||26 November 1989|
|Owned by||MediaWorks New Zealand|
|Picture format|| 576i (SDTV)|
|Formerly called||TV3 (1989–2017)|
|Sister channel(s)||Bravo, The Edge TV, The Breeze TV|
|DVB 64-QAM on band IV|
|DVB QPSK 576i on 12644/12456 MHz|
|DVB 8PSK (encrypted) on 12358 MHz|
Three (stylized as +HR=E) is a New Zealand nationwide television channel. Launched on 26 November 1989 as TV3, it was New Zealand's first privately owned television channel. The channel currently broadcasts nationally (with regional advertising targeting four markets) in digital free-to-air form via the state-owned Kordia on terrestrial and satellite. Vodafone also carries the channel for their cable subscribers in Wellington and Christchurch. It previously broadcast nationally on analogue television until that was switched off on 1 December 2013.
Three is a general entertainment channel owned by MediaWorks New Zealand, with a significant news and current affairs element under the banner of Newshub. Three carries a significant amount of local content, most of which airs at prime-time.
Applications to apply for a warrant to operate New Zealand's third national television network opened in 1985. The Broadcasting Tribunal announced in 1987 that TV3 had won the warrant. TV3 initially aimed to provide a regionally based television service, with linked studios based in each of the four areas (Auckland, Wellington, Waikato/BOP, and South Island).
There were numerous delays to the launch date of TV3. Litigation surrounded the granting of the warrant, as did the share market crash in October 1987, which wiped out a large proportion of the capital that TV3 required to establish the channel. The then Minister of Broadcasting, Richard Prebble, announced in late 1987 that much of the UHF spectrum in New Zealand was to be auctioned to allow for an increased number of television channels, resulting in a reduction in the value of TV3's warrant due to the increased competition. The drawn-out tribunal process of frequency allocation that TV3 had just won would be replaced by a bidding process that would allocate frequencies in weeks rather than months or even years.
These problems resulted in the ambitious regional plans being rationalised before being shelved completely. The network was to be based in Auckland with limited studios and news and sales teams in the other main centres.
Broadcasting started on 26 November 1989 with a preview of what viewers could expect to see. After Governor-General Paul Reeves officially launched the station, the first broadcast was a two-hour special previewing the network's programmes featuring comedians David McPhail and Jon Gadsby playing cameramen. TV3's initial slogan proclaimed 'Come Home to the Feeling'; a derivative of the 'Come Home to the Best, Only on NBC' slogan used by NBC in the United States at the time. At time of launch about 60 percent of the New Zealand audience could receive TV3's regular broadcasts.
Early in TV3's life, financial supporters of the network included ABC and NBC as a minority shareholding,[ citation needed ] who later sold their interest.
TV3 failed to gain ground against a recently revitalised TVNZ and was placed into receivership on 2 May 1990. TV3 continued to broadcast with the major creditor, Westpac Banking Corporation, supporting the network by taking a large shareholding.
As TV3 needed investment during a climate of economic recession, the government liberalised the rules on foreign ownership of television stations (raising the 15 percent cap to 49 percent and later removing all restrictions), allowing TV3 to search for an investor overseas. In December 1991, CanWest took a 20 percent shareholding in TV3 and secured a management agreement allowing it full control to operate the station. CanWest introduced tighter controls on budgets while targeting the lucrative 18- to 49-year-old audience. TV3's audience share and advertising revenue steadily increased, leading to significant profits. TV3 also steadily increased its coverage within New Zealand, adding dozens of transmitters and translators, often with the assistance of New Zealand On Air. By 1998 about 97 percent of the population could receive the channel.
On 2 October 1996, TV3 announced a reshuffling of its broadcast frequencies to enable it to launch a new network, to be called TV4 Network Limited, on the VHF band. TV4, which started on 29 June 1997, is a free-to-air network aimed at a younger audience than TV3. The launch was considered successful, with high brand recognition and ratings significantly higher than MTV, TV4's television rival. TV4's opening broadcast was the controversial Tyson–Holyfield boxing rematch.
In April 1997 CanWest purchased Westpac's 48 percent shareholding in TV3, taking CanWest's stake to 68 percent. In June CanWest picked up the More FM Radio network, followed in November with the purchase of the remaining 32 percent of TV3. In April 1998, CanWest announced that it had made C$22 million in the six months to February 1998 in New Zealand, up a third on the same period the year before. TV4 contributed positively to the result, with some of the increase due to the inclusion of More FM, while TV3 was continuing to experience strong revenue growth.
Canwest's investments in New Zealand had developed considerably in New Zealand over the period that it had interests in the country. TV4 continued to be a source of concern for the broadcaster, but the position of TV3 was strengthened by alliances with SKY Television for sport and a series of high-profile mistakes by TVNZ as it dealt with the dominance of SKY in pay television. The election of the Labour government in 1999 refocused TVNZ as a semi-non-commercial broadcaster, no longer ratings-driven and no longer attempting to dominate the free to air television market. As a commercial broadcaster, TV3 was in a position to take advantage of TVNZ's change of focus.
During 2004 the station was transferred into the ownership of Canwest MediaWorks New Zealand as a way of listing 30 percent of the Canadian company's New Zealand assets on the New Zealand share market. TV3's parent company TVWorks announced its annual revenue at $124 million in October 2004, which was $13 million up from the previous financial year.
In May 2007 it was announced that Ironbridge Capital, an Australian private equity firm, was paying $386 million or $2.43 a share for the 70 percent of CanWest MediaWorks New Zealand owned by CanWest Global Communications. It was also offering the same price to minority shareholders under a full takeover bid.
On 1 April 2008, TV3 became the first New Zealand television network to introduce high-definition television, to coincide with the launch of Freeview HD and MySky HDi in New Zealand. The first programme to broadcast in true 1080i high definition (i.e. not upscaled) was that night's screening of Boston Legal .
On 17 June 2013 the parent company of TV3 went into receivership, this being the second receivership for TV3. When TV3's parent company Mediaworks was purchased by Ironbridge Capital they took on $700 Million of debt which could no longer be sustained. Following the receivership TV3 and the radio stations owned by Mediaworks remained on air and all staff have retained their jobs.Shares in the company were gradually and completely bought out by US hedge fund Oaktree Capital Management.
Since 3 July 2016, with the closure of sister channel Four, some of its programming, such as Sticky TV, moved over to TV3 in a new daytime lineup.
On 9 February 2017, TV3 underwent a major re-branding, changing its name to Three and adopting a new logo and on-air imaging. The new brand was promoted as being "vibrant, playful, and inspiring"; chief content officer Andrew Szusterman explained that TV3 as a brand had not evolved with its programming, and that "a channel this strong, with content this strong, should be bigger than the sum of its parts and it should represent the content itself whereas the pieces of content were living in isolation." The new imaging was widely criticized by viewers, particularly the unusual design and stylization of its new logo as "+HR=E".
A second sister channel, ThreeLife, was launched on 15 April 2018.
On 18 October 2019, Mediaworks announced Three was for sale.
On 25 March 2020, ThreeLife went off air, and was replaced by the return of The Edge TV and new channel, The Breeze TV.
In early September 2020, MediaWorks confirmed that it would be selling its television media assets, which include Three, to the US mass media multinational company Discovery, Inc.
Mediaworks acquired a first-run and re-run contract with HD sourced material for 20th Century Fox Television content (which includes films under the brands 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks Animation – 2008 to present, Fox Atomic, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Icon Films – 2007 to 2012, now belongs to Prime Television New Zealand and Regency Enterprises), which was previously held by TVNZ. When TVNZ outbid them for their previous Disney Media Distribution contract. In 2015, they had the rights to Metro Goldwyn Mayer for more recent films.
Exclusive contracts with CBS News, ITV News and Seven News for international news coverage.
Mediaworks has long held first-option contracts with NBC Universal (which includes films under the brands Focus Features and Universal Pictures) with select HD material from February 2011.As well as until the start of the US 2012 season, a first-option contract with CBS Television Distribution (which included films under the brands Paramount Pictures and non-animated DreamWorks Pictures) with select HD material from the end of 2012, this deal came to an end for new content from the start of 2013. From mid-2013, TV3 secured a first option deal with Sony Pictures Television for new content for TV series and movies that will be scheduled for late 2013 and the 2014 season. This deal signals a move away from the more expensive exclusive Fox deal, which is still under re-negotiation following the broadcaster's change in ownership.
On 20 December, MediaWorks re-signed a revised down scaled exclusive deal with Fox.As a result of their receivership, they lost their first-option rights over NBC-Universal shows, which resulted in TVNZ acquiring the rights to Brooklyn Nine Nine in 2014. They also lost their rights to air 20th Television programmes, which resulted Prime Television New Zealand to air Sleepy Hollow, and Television New Zealand to air Empire.
From 2020, Three will be the new home of Warner Bros. Television content taking over from TVNZ.
From launch in November 1989 until digital television transition was completed on 1 December 2013, TV3 broadcast terrestrially using the analogue PAL-B&G. Except for Kapiti where it broadcast on ITU Band IV (UHF), TV3 broadcast in the main urban areas on ITU band III (VHF high). In other areas and infill transmitters in the main urban areas, it broadcast on either band I (VHF low), band III, band IV or band V (UHF).In some areas, TV3's analogue broadcast was on a different transmitter from TV One and TV2's analogue broadcasts, and viewers needed an additional antenna to pick up the channel; these included Hamilton, Tauranga, Taupo, Gisborne, Kapiti, Masterton, and Nelson.
Three is a broadcasting member of the Freeview platform as well as broadcasting on Sky Digital. TV3 began screening widescreen transmissions on both platforms on 11 April 2007, although TelstraClear InHomeTV, which gets most of its content from SKY Digital, switched back to screening the cropped version of TV3 for a couple of months due to non-widescreen customer complaints. TelstraClear resumed broadcasting the widescreen version of TV3 on 24 July 2007. In April 2008 TV3 commenced 1080i high definition broadcasts on the Freeview|HD terrestrial platform and on Sky's HD satellite platform.
Three also broadcasts a livestream of the Auckland feed on its website.
ThreeNow (previously called 3Now) is an on-demand streaming platform, on which select programmes from Three and sister channel Bravo, as well as web-only programmes, are available. ThreeNow is available on the ThreeNow website as well as on iOS and Android devices. It also has live streams of Three and sister channels Bravo and The Edge TV.
ThreePlus1 (previously called TV3 Plus 1) is a 1-hour timeshift channel. It was launched on 30 March 2009, as part of Three's contract with Freeview to provide at least four channels. It is a standard hour delayed timeshift channel of the Three broadcast taken from their Auckland feed that was created originally for the Sky platform, meaning the channel broadcasts Auckland regional advertising. ThreePlus1 is available on digital terrestrial and digital satellite.
|Launched||15 April 2018|
|Closed||25 March 2020|
|Owned by||MediaWorks New Zealand|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Sister channel(s)||Three, Bravo, The Edge TV|
|Timeshift service||ThreeLife + 1|
ThreeLife was a New Zealand nationwide television channel that was launched on 15 April 2018. It aired lifestyle shows. The content aired on ThreeLife was themed, as follows:
Good Chef Bad Chef , Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield and The Home Team were aired from 6pm to 7:30pm every night. During the day, the channel repeated programmes from the previous night. These aired from 9am on Monday through Friday, from 11:30am on Saturday, and from 6am on Sunday. From midnight to 6 am, a simulcast of Magic Talk was broadcast.
The station was shut down at the end of 25 March 2020, and was replaced by the return of The Edge TV a little over an hour later.The final program to air was Good Chef Bad Chef.
ThreeLife + 1 was a 1-hour timeshift channel. It was launched on 1 July 2019, in the place of The Edge TV. The station was shut down at 1am on 26 March 2020, and was replaced on 16 April by The Breeze TV.
Freeview is the United Kingdom's digital terrestrial television platform. It is operated by DTV Services Ltd, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and transmitter operator Arqiva. It was launched in 2002, taking over the licence from ITV Digital which collapsed that year. The service provides consumer access via an aerial to the seven DTT multiplexes covering the United Kingdom. In July 2020 it had some 85 TV channels, 26 digital radio channels, 10 HD channels, six text services, 11 streamed channels, and one interactive channel.
Television in New Zealand was introduced in 1960 as a state-run service. The broadcasting sector was deregulated in 1989, when the Government allowed competition to the state-owned Television New Zealand (TVNZ). There are currently three forms of broadcast television: a terrestrial (DVB-T) service provided by Freeview; satellite services provided nationwide by both Freeview and Sky; and an internet television service delivered over cable and fibre broadband provided by Vodafone.
Television New Zealand, more commonly referred to as TVNZ, is a state-owned television network that is broadcast throughout New Zealand and parts of the Pacific region. Although the network identifies as a national, part-public broadcaster, it is fully commercially funded.
Sky Network Television Limited is a New Zealand pay television company that provides satellite television and media streaming services. It is also a wholesale channel provider to New Zealand IPTV provider Vodafone. As at 20 April 2020, Sky had 1,000,391 subscribers consisting of 585,815 satellite subscribers and 414,576 streaming subscribers. Despite the similarity of name, branding and services, such as Sky Go and MySky shared with its European equivalent, Sky, there is no longer a connection between the companies.
UKTV Media Limited, simply known as UKTV, is a British multi-channel broadcaster, wholly owned by BBC Studios. It was formed on 1 November 1992 through a joint venture between the BBC and Thames Television. It is one of the United Kingdom's largest television companies.
Prime is a New Zealand free-to-air television network. It airs a varied mix of programming, largely imported from Australia, the UK and the United States, as well as free-to-air rugby union, A-League soccer, and cricket matches.
In most telecommunications organizations, a virtual channel is a method of remapping the program number as used in H.222 Program Association Tables and Program Mapping Tables to a channel number that can be entered via digits on a receiver's remote control.
Kordia is a New Zealand government-owned broadcast and telecommunications company, operating in Australia and New Zealand. It provides national communications services for broadcast and telecommunications customers in New Zealand, as well as specialised network systems. New Zealand customers include: Vodafone New Zealand, 2degrees, Sky Television, TVNZ, Mediaworks, Radio New Zealand, Spark New Zealand, Freeview, and The Radio Network. In Australia, Kordia provides contracting and consulting services for major telecommunications players, including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Hutchison.
Cue TV was a regional television station in New Zealand which started in October 1996 as Mercury Television. The original majority shareholder in Mercury TV was the CRT co-operative, before the station was sold to Family Television Network and then West Media 175, a company based in the United Kingdom with New Zealand broadcasting assets. In 2003, the company was sold to General Manager Tom Conroy who is also Managing Director for the station. The majority of its programming was from the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT2LRN). Making it a nationwide local educational television service. Most of the programming on CUE TV was locally produced, most other programming is from Deutsche Welle. The channel was available nationwide, on Freeview, Sky and Telstra.
TVNZ 1 is the first national television channel owned and operated by the state-owned broadcaster Television New Zealand (TVNZ). It was the first major television broadcaster in New Zealand, starting out from 1960 onwards as independent government operated facilities in the four main centres of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and eventually began sharing programming between them all in real time in 1969, becoming NZBC TV. The collective group was renamed Television One in 1975 upon the break-up of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, and became a part of TVNZ in 1980 when Television One and South Pacific Television merged. The channel assumed its current name in October 2016.
A timeshift channel is a television channel carrying a time-delayed rebroadcast of its "parent" channel's programming. This channel runs alongside their parent: the term "timeshift" does not refer to a network broadcasting at a later time to reflect a local time zone, unless the parent is also available. Often the timeshift channel's branding and advertising will be the same as that of the parent, with the channel number and respective timing being the only distinction between the two, but some, such as Channel 4 +1 in the United Kingdom and TVNZ 1+1 in New Zealand, will overlay a different digital on-screen graphic to distinguish the two channels. A few channels, like Film4 +1 in the United Kingdom, do not carry a digital on-screen graphic on its regular channel or its timeshift channel.
TVNZ 2 is the second New Zealand television channel owned and operated by the state-owned broadcaster Television New Zealand (TVNZ). It targets a younger audience than its sister channel, TVNZ 1. TVNZ 2's line up consists of dramas, comedies, and reality TV shows. A small number are produced in New Zealand which are either of a comedic, soap opera or reality nature, with rest of the line-up imported from mostly a Warner Bros. or Disney catalogue or a FremantleMedia or Endemol soap opera/reality TV catalogue.
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TVNZ OnDemand is a New Zealand online television viewing and downloading service offered by Television New Zealand since 2007. It offers a variety of free content, such as news updates and programmes seen on TVNZ channels. TVNZ OnDemand offers most of the programmes broadcast on air with licensing agreements to be shown for users in New Zealand. In addition, it offers dozens of local and international titles exclusively available on the platform.
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MediaWorks New Zealand is a New Zealand-based television, radio and interactive media company entirely owned by U.S. company Oaktree Capital Management. It operates playout services from Auckland and Wellington studios via Kordia's microwave network for Newshub, Three, and Bravo, ten national radio brands, eighteen websites and three locally operated radio stations.
Four was the second New Zealand television channel owned and operated by MediaWorks New Zealand, broadcast via the state-owned Kordia transmission network. The channel launched on 29 June 1997 as TV4 and was replaced by C4 on 3 October 2003. It was relaunched on 6 February 2011 as a separate channel from C4.
Igloo was a New Zealand prepaid pay TV service launched on 3 December 2012. The Pace supplied receiver provides customers access to free-to-air channels through Freeview, and previously a small selection of pay TV channels could be purchased for 30 days. On March 1, 2017 Igloo closed and the receiver was updated to allow viewers to use New Zealand's Freeview television service.
Bravo is the second New Zealand television channel owned and operated by MediaWorks New Zealand and NBCUniversal International Networks, broadcast via the state-owned Kordia transmission network and on MediaWorks' website ThreeNow. The channel launched on 3 July 2016. Much like its American cable network counterpart, Bravo focuses on design, food, glamour and pop culture.