Lightbox Tops 200K Subs and Signs WB Deal


Lightbox has picked up a new Hugh Laurie drama from 21st Century Fox TV and signed a programming deal with Warner Bros.

The Spark streaming service that’s facing unprecedented competition from giants Netflix and Amazon today announced it had notched up 200,000 customers since launching in August 2014 “and is well on its way towards its next big milestone of 250,000”.

“It’s satisfying to see how quickly the number of New Zealanders enjoying Lightbox has been growing of late,” CEO of Spark Home, Mobile and Business, Jason Paris says.

“It’s a testament to the high quality of content, and the way in which New Zealanders are increasingly choosing what they want to watch when they want to watch it.

“And we’re backing this success, by investing in new deals with international studios to maintain the momentum we are generating.”

These include Chance, which stars Hugh Laurie, as a forensic neuropsychiatrist who’s pulled into his patient’s dangerous life of police corruption and abuse, and a new content deal with Warner Bros for all seasons of the The West Wing, Veronica Mars and Pushing Daisies, as well as Blindspot (S1) and DC Legends of Tomorrow.

Paris says Lightbox’s strategy of acquiring top-quality content that is often first to run in NZ and ‘express’ from the US means Kiwis can watch a show within 24 hours of it first being broadcast.

And because many households share a single Lightbox subscription, up to half-a-million New Zealanders all across the country are watching Lightbox, he argues.

Lightbox acting general manager Hema Patel says Lightbox will continue its focus on investing in new shows in 2017.

“Kiwis have broken the habits of a lifetime and rapidly embraced the new way media is being delivered. We like to engage with it on our own terms. We love being able to watch episodes back to back, any time and place we like.

“Now the remote is firmly in the hands of the viewer and this new-found entertainment freedom supported by great content underpins future growth and an enhanced subscriber base.”

Returning in the new year will be exclusive seasons of Suits (late January), Better Call Saul (April), Outlander (April), The Path (late January) and the final season of Black Sails (late January).

Available this month are the latest seasons of Vikings, Mozart in the Jungle, No Activity and The Mindy Project.

Lightbox costs $12.99 a month after a 30 day free trial and is included on selected Spark mobile and broadband plans (

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6 Responses to “Lightbox Tops 200K Subs and Signs WB Deal”

  1. Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '/' in /home/customer/www/ on line 66
    December 19, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Seems like this deal is a lifeline for Lightbox after the arrival of Amazon. Does this deal affect the TVNZ WB deal? Will new WB titles appear first on Lightbox or does TVNZ retain first-run rights?

  2. Hi Leo. Apologies for any confusion. The WB deal is for only a small parcel of shows, most of it library content like West Wing etc. The newer shows are strategic: Blindspot is a binge-worthy asset ahead of S2’s premiere on TVNZ 1 while Legends isn’t getting the exposure it deserves on a second-string SD channel like Duke. Lightbox’s WB deal is a minnow compared to TVNZ’s but will help to forge relationships between the streamer and the distributor while providing the former with distinctive fare when the future of some of its earlier acquisitions, like Mozart in the Jungle and Transparency, might be jeopardised by Amazon, which commissioned them, now being a streaming rival in this market.

  3. No worries Philip, was just curious about the new deal. Thanks for the reply and clearing a few things up. Glad the WB deal with TVNZ is intact. Merry Christmas, Philip, and have a great new year. Thanks for another year of blogging, keep it up.

  4. Cheers, Leo. And compliments of the season to you, too.

  5. TVNZ is now promoting 24: Legacy is now coming in towards 2017 but dont know when.

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