TVNZ Showcases ViacomCBS Pact

TVNZ surprised news media and media buyers this morning when it announced a key deal with distribution giant ViacomCBS as part of its 2022 Showcase presentation.

The pact, which usurps Prime’s content deal with the distributor, covers both new and library content, including Paramount+ originals.

While Prime’s ViacomCBS coup was much ballyhooed, most of the procedurals and sitcoms failed to fire on Sky’s free-to-air channel.

TVNZ’s alliance is much more strategic for the forward-thinking broadcaster.

It will help to not only beef up TVNZ’s linear and digital slates but also serve as a bulwark should its long-standing Warners deal be undone by the Discovery-Warner merger, which will benefit Discovery NZ’s channels and platforms.

The new relationship also puts paid to the prospect of ViacomCBS-owned Paramount+ launching a streaming service here anytime soon.

ViacomCBS will use TVNZ OnDemand as a proxy platform, similar to TVNZ’s arrangement for Peacock content through its NBCUniversal deal.

As for TVNZ’s local commissions, most of those unveiled today are returning hits or already had been announced by the broadcaster or funding partner NZ On Air.

Here’s the media release highlighting what’s in store next year on TVNZ:

Leading local, global partnerships and even more OnDemand – TVNZ’s 2022 line-up announced

Local looms large once again in TVNZ’s 2022 blockbuster line-up, with exciting new series, returningfavourites, more must-watch sporting moments and a new content partnership all announced at TVNZ’s virtual Showcase event today.

“Two million New Zealanders tune in to TVNZ each day, and we’re investing more to provide the content viewers want to watch in the ways they want to watch it.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates TVNZ’s ongoing commitment to local content and enhancing our digital services to grow audience reach and inspire the conversations of Aotearoa in the year ahead,” says Chief Executive, Kevin Kenrick.

Landmark Local: “New Zealanders love seeing their stories on screen – from homegrown drama to the best in whānau-friendly blockbuster reality. We’re excited to share more original and diverse content in 2022, and we’re grateful to our production partners and funding bodies NZ on Air, Te Māngai Pāho and the New Zealand Film Commission for helping us tell Aotearoa’s stories,” says Director of Content, Cate Slater.

TVNZ’s local line-up will span all genres and be available on-air and online. Drama lovers will get their fix with new co-production Under the Vines, starring Rebecca Gibney, and film Whina+#, starring Rena Owen, will bring the inspiring story of Dame Whina Cooper to screen.

Supernatural anthology series Beyond the Veil *+ will be presented by Jayden Daniels, and the mystery and intrigue continues in all new seasons of One Lane Bridge* and The Brokenwood Mysteries.

Shortland Street reaches yet another milestone with its 30th Anniversary next year. The loveable Billy-John is back for a third season of Kura *, and gritty rangatahi drama Ahikāroa +* also returns for a fifth season.

Te Reo Tātaki (TVNZ) has comedy covered in the year ahead. The Sione’s Wedding crew are bringing back their signature humour with DuckRockers*, a prequel series to the iconic film, and semi- autobiographical series Kid Sister* tells the story of a young Kiwi Jewish woman in her prime.

Have You Been Paying Attention?, Give Us a Clue, Patriot Brains* and Wellington Paranormal* will all be back for more laughs in 2022.

In the reality space, there’s feel good escapism to come in LEGO® MASTERS NZ, with comedian Dai Henwood today announced as the show’s host.

More romance-reality abounds in Down For Love* and The Ex-Best Thing. Aotearoa’s best chefs will attempt to recreate Kiwis’ favourite treats in new series Snackmasters NZ, and NZ’s celebs will duke it out for a good cause on a new season of Celebrity Treasure Island.

The country’s best backyard BBQ masters will go toe-to-toe in the new series Cooks on Fire, and Stan & The Walkers+ are back with more whānau laughs and heart-warming moments.

Brand-new format 60 Seconds showcases the diverse range of talent we have within Aotearoa, with one minute or less for contestants to impress. Plus, there will be a new RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, featuring an array of trans-Tasman queens.

Documentary New Zealand* reflects the stories of Aotearoa in a special eight-episode season, and Grand Designs New Zealand takes us behind the scenes of some of the country’s most impressive new builds.

First Responders puts viewers into the heart of our emergency services, going behind the scenes of our rescue helicopters, boats and ambulances. Our Big Blue Backyard^ returns, taking viewers under the sea and into a world of stunning creatures right here in NZ. Homegrown favourites Eat Well for Less NZ, Origins*+, and Moving Houses all return for new seasons in 2022.

Powerful Partnerships: “Partnerships allow us to complement our local slate with the best content from around the world, together with key sporting moments,” says Director of Content, Cate Slater.

“Like our local slate, TVNZ’s international line-up is full of variety. The breadth and depth of our content portfolio ensures we deliver something for all viewers – however they choose to watch with us.”

A significant deal with ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, announced today, brings the juggernaut studio’s premiere and library content to TVNZ.

Included in this deal are Ghosts, starring Kiwi actress Rose McIver, hit daytime show The Drew Barrymore Show, the latest from the CSI franchise, CSI: Vegas, the newest in the NCIS stable, NCIS: Hawai’i, and more new series including FBI: International, Good Sam, and Guilty Party.

Well-known hits such as Everybody Hates Chris, Charmed, and SEAL Team are also set to land on TVNZ. The partnership, along with that with NBCUniversal (announced earlier in the year) will ensure a multi-year supply of premium US drama, comedy and movies to TVNZ.

As well as the best of the US, we’ll continue to bring our viewers premium British content. There’s more natural history coming to TVNZ with Sir David Attenborough’s latest series, The Green Planet and The Mating Game, plus new seasons of Frozen Planet and Serengeti all screening next year.

Jed Mercurio’s (Line of Duty) latest work Trigger Point, Around the World in 80 Days starring David Tennant, and the on-screen adaptation of Adam Kay’s bestselling novel, This is Going to Hurt, all premiere in 2022, too.

This past year has seen TVNZ deliver its most comprehensive events slate in over a decade, from international T20 cricket**, the 36th America’s Cup, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games*** and Paralympic Games. Coming up, 2021 will finish with live coverage of the Constellation Cup***, where the Silver Ferns take on Australia.

There’s another summer of cricket on its way, including the now unmissable T20 Black Clash. And there’ll be more Paralympics action to come in March when our incredible Kiwi Paralympians head to Beijing to show off their skills in the 2022 Winter Paralympics.

Digital Direction: TVNZ’s future success is reliant on replicating leadership in TV in digital services and ensuring premium local and international content is available to all New Zealanders however they want to watch.

“TVNZ OnDemand is New Zealand’s leading local streaming service, and it has grown significantly in the past few years to now reach one million viewers a week. We’re also focused on driving the digital reach of 1 NEWS to match our OnDemand success, through upgrading news content workflow tools, content management systems, and digital publishing systems.

“This enhanced capability will enable a step changing TVNZ’s digital news relevance and scale in 2022,” says Chief Executive, Kevin Kenrick.

“TVNZ’s future is undoubtedly digital, and we are investing significantly in the design and development of a future state-of-the-art IP platform that will have the capacity and capability to enhance our digital services and ultimately replace our current broadcast services.”

* Made with the support of NZ On Air
+ Made with the support of Te Māngai Pāho
^ Made with the support of Te Puna Kairangi Premium Fund
# Made with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission

** In partnership with Spark Sport *** In partnership with Sky

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23 Responses to “TVNZ Showcases ViacomCBS Pact”

  1. And how much of this is fast tracked? I don’t see any currently.

  2. I thought that CSI:Vegas and NCIS:Hawaii were headed to Prime as usual as part of the deal, but I was shocked that TVNZ got the rights which is weird.

  3. Slightly intrigued by this one – as Sky (including a mention of Prime) announced a renewal of ViacomCBS content back in February (, yet now TVNZ has ended up with certainly the FTA/Paramount+ tranche of programming. Does this signal Prime/Sky onsold the FTA package (and ergo, more change coming at Prime) or has there been a re-negotation? You’d suspect Sky has kept hold of the Showtime element of the contract? As for Paramount+ coming here, probably for the best. This market is probably only big enough for 3-4 paid streaming players, in my opinion. PS: Phil, some weird things going on with your website tonight, pages not loading right FYI, if you’re not across it!

  4. Thanks, Clint. Site appears to be up and running again. ? All very good points you raise and which I hope to be able to shed light on in the coming days. With Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime already established here, and both TVNZ and Sky cranking up their streaming operations, I agree our market’s too small to sustain more players. This is true around the world, too, hence the likes of NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS, which struggle in the US with their streaming services, partnering with other platforms internationally or even joining forces in some markets (echoing what happens here in movie and video distribution, where competitors create alliances to save money and streamline operations).

  5. Hey Phil. Do you know who will be streaming Star Trek Discovery now that it’s no longer on Netflix and Paramount+ are streaming it in other parts of the world?

  6. Not yet, Aaron, but have asked TVNZ if they have the rights …

  7. Will any local broadcasters ever support 5.1 surround sound at a minimum? This is a major factor in my reasons of obtaining content from other sources. And the severe lack of availability and fast tracking of content. Some of the content recently announced is already widely available on the internet with higher bitrates and the inclusion of 5.1 surround sound.

  8. Cheers Phil. Can’t believe it was taken off Netflix without any warning a day before season 4 was due to begin.?

  9. Similar thing happened with The Good Fight on Amazon Prime Video. It was pulled after three seasons to stream exclusively on Paramount+ but in this market continues to be unavailable on a local platform.

  10. Does the deal include any MTV content via a TVNZ OnDemand channel Philip or the possibility of The Daily Show or Full Frontal with Samantha Bee getting a free-to-air outlet?

  11. I wouldn’t think so, Leo. I imagine these will remain Sky properties under its ViacomCBS deal. The networks and Sky rarely disclose anything beyond their carefully worded press releases. I’ve asked TVNZ and Sky several questions about the finer details but nothing to report yet.

  12. Make OIA requests to TVNZ to force them to say something and if they refuse go to the ombudsman. The public has a right to more details than the vague information they provide.

  13. Cheers, Philip, for getting back to me, hopefully some undisclosed sweeteners from this deal do make it on demand. This content deal along with the NBC agreement harks back to the days when output deals were crucial to broadcasters, it appears the more things change the more they stay the same. Just to clarify Philip, all or most of Paramount+ originals are now exclusive to TVNZ Ondemand?

  14. Philip, is Prime having a new season launch this year?

  15. That’s how I read it, Leo, but still awaiting clarification from TVNZ.

  16. No, Leo, they haven’t done a new-season launch for several years. But I understand Sky will release details of what’s coming up on Prime before Christmas.

  17. Thanks Philip for getting back to me. Fingers crossed Prime has something new to offer in 2022.

  18. Someone tweeted on Twitter that Paramount+ are apparently coming to New Zealand in April 2022 so my hopes are raised yet again. 2022 is going to be an interesting year ?

  19. Highly unlikely Trevor as they’ve committed to a deal with TVNZ plus most of the Paramount+ originals will end up on TVNZ Ondemand, unless it’s for library content from ie MTV, Comedy Central …

  20. I don’t know why Paramount+ ignored New Zealand as there are obviously so many people wanting them to come here. Why do a stupid deal with TVNZ? The only streaming service that’s treating New Zealand with any respect seems to be Disney+ ?

  21. Market forces and all that, Trevor. If you launch in NZ, it’s not as simple as opening the floodgates on the app but you have to promote it, arrange marketing/partnerships etc. Disney already had a NZ office for its films so they have boots on the ground here. P+ has probably weighed up the benefits and figured they’d make more from a TVNZ deal or at least wouldn’t get the return on investment if they opened offices here.

  22. That doesn’t make it any easier but there is at least hope for Warner Bros. Discovery. I think we deserve a new streaming service ?

  23. Patricks Entertainment World is a service that I run through TVNZ via Facebook and that’s where I operate from and so will open up as from next week.

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