On Feb 27th, Spark, which is a New Zealand telecommunications corporation, said it was teaming up with the United States video streaming service giant Netflix in a unique arrangement that will be the first of its kind.
The telecommunications company’s broadband customers would actually receive one year of Netflix’s standard plan subscription at no additional cost. Sparks cited that it was the first time in the history that Netflix – the video streaming company has collaborated with broadband. Sparks’ spokesperson revealed this during the stocks exchange.
This deal between Sparks and Netflix comes just when New Zealand telecommunications companies are shifting from their domain to become media providers.
Simon Moutter, the chief executive of Sparks explained their deal with Netflix by telling – “It is also consistent with our shift towards becoming a digital services provider, rather than just a traditional telecommunication company.”
On 23 Feb, New Zealand’s competition regulator debated against pay TV provider Sky Television’s purchasing New Zealand’s Vodafone unit. Regarding this matter, Spark had vocally opposed the agreement; the company was successful in attaining a temporary hold in a New Zealand court, arguing that if the competition regulator had ruled in favor of the current transaction, it would create an unfair monopoly on premium sport content
He said, “This move is consistent with the Spark media strategy outlined in previous investor updates, starting a shift to a more open, platform-centric approach, to be able to offer customers an even bigger range of content choices. We’re growing our platform approach with a range of providers, providing a mix of digital tools to support our customers’ lives.”
This announcement was released just days after the Commerce Commission banned a billion dollar merger proposal between the two giants Vodafone and Sky Television.