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Disney And TVNZ Announce Landmark Agreement To Offer U.S. Series Online For Free & On-Demand To Viewers In New Zealand

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

17 September 2008 - The Walt Disney Company's international TV distribution arm, Disney-ABC International Television (Asia Pacific), and New Zealand's leading free-to-air broadcaster, TVNZ, announced today a landmark agreement to make a selection of ad-supported U.S. network series available on TVNZ's catch up TV service, 'TVNZ ondemand'. These series will be available to viewers on-demand and free of charge just 12 hours after the local telecast on TV2.

This marks the first time that U.S. series will be offered free of charge online in New Zealand. This is Disney-ABC International Television's second free ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD) agreement in Asia Pacific.

The 'TVNZ ondemand' service launches with the first season of "Private Practice," which airs Mondays at 8:30pm on TV2. The first three episodes of "Private Practice" will also be available online so fans can catch up on the episodes they missed on television.

All episodes will be available on for 28 days.

"Today, viewers demand more flexibility and choice. Catching up with their favourite shows online, puts viewers in charge of when and how they watch" said Rob Gilby, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Disney-ABC International Television (Asia Pacific). "We're delighted to be the first US studio working with TVNZ, a pioneer in the digital media space in New Zealand, to bring our hit U.S. series in ways that are innovative and relevant to viewers here."

Jason Paris, Head of Emerging Business for TVNZ, said: "TVNZ is enormously proud to be able to partner with Disney-ABC International Television (Asia Pacific) to ensure that TVNZ content is the most accessible of any media organisation in New Zealand. The addition of these highly successful US shows will ensure that our ondemand offering goes from strength to strength."

More series will follow suit later this year and next including new seasons of "Eli Stone," "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy" "Brothers & Sisters" "Criminal Minds," "Dirt," "Reaper," "Samantha Who?," Scrubs," and "October Road." Series launch dates on 'TVNZ ondemand' will depend on the TV2's broadcast schedule.

TVNZ ondemand has proved to be extremely popular in the 18 months it has been going. Each month an average of 30,000 hours of television is watched via the free online service. The content is currently a mix of local shows, the latest news and current affairs and some selected UK and Australian titles.

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