Hot Off the Press Release: Sky and Lightbox Merge


The rise of global streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+ has led to consolidation of rival Kiwi streaming services Lightbox (Spark) and Neon (Sky).

Here’s the press release:

Sky Completes Lightbox deal
3 February 2020

Sky is pleased to confirm that it has completed the purchase of entertainment streaming service Lightbox from Spark.

The deal enables Sky to merge Lightbox with its own entertainment streaming service Neon, creating a super-charged service for New Zealand customers with the best content from New Zealand and around the world.

Sky and Spark have a partnership to offer Lightbox and the new merged service to Spark customers.  The deal includes Spark customers who receive ‘Lightbox on us’ from Spark continuing to enjoy Lightbox, along with plans to offer the new merged service to Spark customers once it has launched.

More details on the new offer will be revealed closer to the launch date.

Until the launch of the new merged service, Lightbox and Neon customers will continue to access great content on their respective services, with no change to price or the way they access the service.

Sophie Moloney, Sky’s Chief Legal, People and Partnerships Officer, says: “We are delighted to welcome over 130,000 Lightbox customers* to the Sky world, and look forward to delivering a super-charged new service to all New Zealanders towards the middle of this year.  We also welcome the Lightbox team to Sky and look forward to working together to create a special new service.

“Neon and Lightbox have a superb line-up of content, including Outlander, Love Island UK, The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld.  Bringing them together will create the leading locally-delivered streaming service for New Zealanders.”

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14 Responses to “Hot Off the Press Release: Sky and Lightbox Merge”

  1. Well this all looks positive. My mobile plan which includes Spotify and Lightbox at no extra charge seems to have got a lot better! Hopefully as Neon doesn’t have an Apple TV app, they use and improve the Lightbox one to offer the Neon content.

  2. It does look positive, Brian, depending on the fine print of the “more details on the new offer” revelation. And, yes, a Neon/Lightbox Apple TV app would be great. Even better would be the new entity offering 4K streaming, like all of its global rivals.

  3. I have Lightbox for free with Spark so I hope that will continue also I wonder if it will include movies from Sky. Anyhow it sounds OK 🙂

  4. I see HBO Max have registered in Australia so does that mean they will be coming to New Zealand as well? Have you heard anything Philip? This is exciting news 🙂

  5. No, I haven’t Trevor. But I note Foxtel still has exclusive rights for HBO content for another two years, and I think the same is true of Sky. So while HBO Max has been registered in Oz, I don’t see it launching this year.

  6. Yes, Trevor, it should include everything Sky already offers on Neon, which becomes better and better each month.

  7. Thanks Philip. It will be interesting to see what happens. I would probably get HBO Max if it ever comes to New Zealand depending on how much it costs. I wonder if Disney will be bringing Hulu to New Zealand? I see they want to go international with Hulu. That’s great news about Neon 🙂

  8. I’m sure Hulu will eventually get here as part of Disney+ but there’s a lot of rights to untangle first. It would certainly make Disney+ a much more compelling proposition. Indeed, it would be irresistible if a D+/Hulu bundle here was discounted like it is in the US.

  9. Will be interesting to see if The Handmaid’s Tale remains on Lightbox or it moves to say SoHo.

  10. I would expect it do be on both platforms, Paul. That’s the beauty of the deal for Sky: it eliminates a NZ rival streamer, expands its own streaming service to compete more aggressively against Netflix etc, and opens up opportunities to snag linear rights for hitherto digital-only content.

  11. I notice in October 2019 someone tweeted HBO Max applied for a New Zealand trademark in September so it’s just not Australia then. It will be interesting to see if anything develops over the next year or so…I also read in a news article about Sky Hulu was called Hulu Plus I have never heard it called that before. Must be getting a name change 🙂

  12. Hulu Plus was the name given when it first branched out into a paid service but now it all fits under one umbrella, it’s just all Hulu.

  13. Thanks Clint,I hadn’t heard Hulu called that before. While I’m here last night I finished watching The Stranger on Netflix and absolutely loved it, it’s so brilliantly done with twists and turns galore. It really keeps you guessing 🙂

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