Hot Off the Press Release: Sky Sells Outside Broadcast Units

Sky says the sale of its Outside Broadcast assets in a deal that will save it $50 million over the next five years won’t compromise the quality of its sports coverage.

Meanwhile, Sky will release its results for the year ended 30 June 2020 on September 10.

Here’s the Outside Broadcast media release:

Sky sells its Outside Broadcast assets to NEP New Zealand, secures long-term partnership

Sky has today announced the sale of its Outside Broadcast (OSB) subsidiary to NEP New Zealand, in a transaction that Sky CEO Martin Stewart says will ensure Sky continues to deliver high-quality sport production to its customers.

Upon completion, NEP will own OSB’s assets including six HD OB units and all ancillary equipment, and NEP has secured two OSB warehouse facilities.  The majority of OSB team members and some Sky broadcast specialists will transition to NEP New Zealand, and Sky will retain its world-class sports production team who will be working closely with NEP New Zealand to keep the sports action coming.

As part of the transaction, NEP will be Sky’s technical production partner in New Zealand for the next ten years.

“Sky Sport’s focus continues to be delivering quality sport that New Zealanders love, from grassroots to high performance and professional competitions.  It’s what Sky Sport lives and breathes – that won’t change. We’ll be focused on developing creative content and great storytelling, with NEP New Zealand as our outsourced technical production partner,” says Sky Chief Executive Martin Stewart.

Stewart says the sale will enable Sky to reduce its future capital investment in multi-million dollar OB equipment, drawing instead on NEP’s ability to leverage its global network of technology developments so that Sky’s broadcast offering stays at the forefront.

“The rate of technological change in the OB space is significant, and the advantage of this transaction is Sky Sport will continue to have access to the best advancements in the OB world without Sky having to make substantial investments to own equipment.

“We’ve always been extremely proud of what our Outside Broadcasting team members do – travelling up and down the country 52 weeks of the year to produce hundreds of events. We look forward to continuing to work with the team and NEP New Zealand through our partnership and delivering the best possible experiences to our customers.”

President of NEP Australia, New Zealand and Japan, Soames Treffry, commented: “NEP New Zealand is absolutely thrilled to begin this partnership supporting Martin Stewart’s vision for content creation at Sky. Sport is in our DNA and we’ll bring the world’s best practices and technology to Sky. NEP New Zealand General Manager Oliver Pitkin is looking forward to welcoming the team from OSB into the NEP family.  In the end, people make pictures, so it’s important to us this is Kiwi from top to tail.  The addition of OSB’s experienced, professional team further bolsters that position. The expansion will enable us to train, develop and create more jobs in the industry as a whole in New Zealand.”

The transaction is subject to approval from the Overseas Investment Office and the New Zealand Commerce Commission, and relevant applications have been lodged.

The terms of the transaction, including purchase price and services agreement, are confidential between the parties.

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2 Responses to “Hot Off the Press Release: Sky Sells Outside Broadcast Units”

  1. I don’t agree with this sale. Isn’t it cheaper to own the equipment as opposed to renting it out? Does this rule out 4K broadcasts for Sky in the future? All I want is to view sports in 4K and it’s not possible in New Zealand.

  2. I feel your pain, Fsmith, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for 4K broadcasts here. It took 10 years for HD to become the norm on the networks and SD channels still predominate on Sky. I would have thought ownership cheaper in the long-term, too, but I guess Sky’s cashflow isn’t what it used to be.

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