The content conundrum and NZ fibre

I read the latest in a series of articles indentifying a lack of digital content as one of the main barriers to take up of fibre (UFB here in NZ). In NZ by far our most important digital content is sport, and Rugby is the king of the heap here …

For my international readers a brief history.   There is a government funded rollout of fibre to 85% of the households here.  Take up of the fibre services is low (circa 2.8% of premises past). There has been enormous structural change in the industry given the forced separation of the dominant Telco into a network (chorus) and retail arm.  This has forced duplication and system work onto the industry that they are still trying to deal with… mundane under the hood things like how to buy, provision and manage the fibre solutions at a retail level.  To top it off the dominant pay TV station is Sky, who owns a monopoly on movie and more importantly sports content…

And that is the rub … because, dear  New Zealanders, if you want to continue to have the best rugby team in the world (the All Blacks), then you need to pay enough to hold the talent here…. and sky TV are the lynch pin in that….  no big TV rights, no quality players, and no quality players… no world champions…. and no world champions means a unhappy nation…(on the whole).

The government is trapped… politics is about popularity… and it won’t do anything to ruin the national sport… so until someone ponies up enough to fund the retention of the players and deliver the content over the glass instead of Satellite… high value sports content is going to remain locked up …. sure you will see the normal bombast from the governement… but my prediction is very little action..

Sure i can solve the movie challenge with a small amount of effort, but I can’t get the sports…

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