New Zealand’s MediaWorks has agreed to sell its TV operations to Discovery, Inc., with the transaction set to be complete by the end of the year.
The deal will add to Discovery’s New Zealand portfolio the entertainment channels Three and Bravo (a joint venture with NBCUniversal), the streaming service ThreeNow and the multiplatform news and current affairs service Newshub, as well as Three+1, Bravo+1, The Edge TV and The Breeze TV. Discovery currently operates six pay-TV channels in the territory (Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, Living and Discovery Turbo) and the free-to-air channels HGTV and Choice TV.
Glen Kyne has been appointed general manager of TV, a role that will continue under Discovery. Post sale, Kyne will report to Simon Robinson, president of AsiaPac at Discovery, who is adding Australia and New Zealand to his remit. Gareth Codd has been appointed acting commercial director for MediaWorks Group in the interim. Rebecca Kent, general manager of Discovery Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, will continue to oversee the New Zealand pay-TV portfolio and free-to-air channels Choice and HGTV, and the Australia operations.
Jack Matthews, MediaWorks’ chairman, said: “MediaWorks has made great strides over the past several years and I believe Discovery is the ideal new owner to continue that momentum across the TV business. The sale will enable MediaWorks to have a greater strategic focus on the long-term future growth of its highly successful and market-leading radio and out-of-home business, offering effective advertising solutions to our customers and great news and entertainment to our audiences.”
Robinson at Discovery added, “MediaWorks TV is New Zealand’s leading independent free-to-air commercial broadcaster, with popular shows and great brands. Discovery is a global content creator, a major free-to-air broadcaster across several European markets, including the U.K., Germany, Italy, Poland and the Nordics, and has expertise in evolving our linear business to direct-to-consumer. With a 26-year heritage in the New Zealand market, we are committed to drive MediaWorks TV’s future growth and success, delivering increased value to audiences and advertisers across all screens in New Zealand.”
Michael Anderson, MediaWorks’ CEO, noted, “This is the best possible outcome for the future of MediaWorks TV and its passionate and dedicated people who work tirelessly to make it a unique and special business. Under the ownership of Discovery, Three, Newshub and Bravo will have a long-term home and continue to play a vital role in New Zealand society.”