Hot Off the Press Release: MediaWorks TV Sale Completed

The ink has dried on the deal to sell MediaWorks’ TV arm to Discovery.

Here are the media releases from MediaWorks and Discovery:

MEDIAWORKS COMPLETES SALE OF ITS FREE-TO-AIR TV BUSINESS TO DISCOVERY INC.

New Zealand’s leading radio and out of home media company, MediaWorks, has today completed the sale of its free-to-air TV business to Discovery, Inc. (“Discovery”), originally announced in September 2020.

Popular entertainment channels Three and Bravo, streaming service ThreeNow, and multi-platform news and current affairs service Newshub have separated from MediaWorks’ radio and out-of-home business, which have been retained by MediaWorks Group, and have become part of Discovery, the global leader of real-life entertainment.

MediaWorks Group will continue to focus on the growth and success of its radio and out-of-home media businesses, and accelerate its market-leading position with more than 2.4 million weekly listeners and 1,700 advertising panels.

Michael Anderson, MediaWorks CEO, says the sale has enabled the business to invest in and advance an ongoing strategy to realise the combined potential of the radio and out-of-home platforms.

“MediaWorks’ focus will be on implementing key strategic initiatives to deliver long term growth, which includes our exclusive three-year broadcasting rights partnership with New Zealand Cricket, amongst others,” says Anderson.

Announced in August this year, the deal will see MediaWorks Radio provide live, free-to-air commentary of all Blackcaps and White Ferns Matches, with some of the country’s greatest cricketing names including Simon Doull, Mike Hesson and Rikki Swannell joining its cricket commentary team.

Completion of the sale comes ahead of MediaWorks’ newly appointed Group CEO, Cam Wallace, who will take over from Anderson at the start of 2021, and lead the business through its next phase of growth.

MediaWorks Chairman, Jack Matthews, says Wallace will bring the experience and a fresh perspective as the business focuses on growing its radio and outdoor platforms.

“MediaWorks has long been a staple of the New Zealand news, entertainment and current-affairs industry. Together with Cam’s experience and dedication, I look forward to building an even greater future for MediaWorks’ radio and out-of-home business alongside a stellar management team and, most importantly, committed and passionate staff and clients,” adds Matthews.

Wallace will take up the position of Chief Executive Officer on 11 January 2021.

 

DISCOVERY, INC. COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF NEW ZEALAND’S MEDIAWORKS TV LTD

INTRODUCES DISCOVERY NZ LTD AND LOOKS TO COMBINE BUSINESSES ACROSS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Auckland, New Zealand, December 1, 2020 – Discovery, Inc. (“Discovery”), the global leader in real-life entertainment, has completed its acquisition of New Zealand’s leading independent free-to-air commercial broadcaster, MediaWorks TV Ltd, now operating as Discovery NZ Limited.

The acquisition makes Discovery a major player in New Zealand’s free-to-air television market and includes the entertainment channels Three and Bravo, streaming service ThreeNow, multi-platform news and current affairs service Newshub, as well as channels Three+1, Bravo+1, The Edge TV and The Breeze TV. Discovery will continue the existing partnership with NBCUniversal for the Bravo channel joint venture.

Discovery will now look to combine its businesses across New Zealand and Australia into one organisation spanning both countries, a move designed to increase scale across the region as a whole. The business will be jointly led by Glen Kyne and Rebecca Kent, General Managers for New Zealand and Australia, who report to Simon Robinson, Discovery President APAC.

Simon Robinson, Discovery President APAC, said: “Today is an exciting moment for Discovery as we significantly expand our operations in New Zealand, and look to create a trans-Tasman powerhouse organisation led by Glen Kyne and Rebecca Kent. The acquisition of MediaWorks TV, with its popular brands and prominent position in New Zealand, will be pivotal in achieving long-term growth and success in both markets.”

Glen Kyne, General Manager, New Zealand & Australia, said: “I am incredibly excited to officially join the Discovery family today and welcome this new beginning for our people, audiences and customers, as well as the production companies that we support both locally and abroad.

“We have worked hard to get Three to a clear number two position in the free-to-air market*, and now have the opportunity to apply that same focus across the wider portfolio to further strengthen our position. Our increased share in New Zealand, alongside our established offering in Australia, will enable us to realise the full value of Discovery brands, delivering premium news and entertainment to our audiences and enhanced solutions for our advertisers.”

Rebecca Kent, General Manager, Australia & New Zealand, said: “This is the next phase of growth for our region, giving us an opportunity to build audiences further with locally produced and internationally acquired content across multiple screens. We are focused on bringing audiences the local stories that Discovery and Three are renowned for through our successful local productions, and using Discovery’s international network to bring local audiences the best of our stories from around the world.”

Discovery has had a presence in Australia and New Zealand for more than 25 years, when it first launched Discovery Channel on Foxtel and Sky. In addition to the Discovery NZ Limited brands, the New Zealand portfolio includes free-to-air channels, Choice and HGTV, and six pay-TV channels – Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, Living and Discovery Turbo.

Discovery Australia’s portfolio includes eight pay-TV channels across Foxtel and Fetch – Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Discovery Turbo, HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, free-to-air channel 9Rush, a partnership with Nine Entertainment Co, and golf streaming service GOLFTV.

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One Response to “Hot Off the Press Release: MediaWorks TV Sale Completed”

  1. I wonder what it will mean to the normal viewer? I hope it means more variety of shows, Three definitely needs it 🙂

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