Warner Bros. Discovery New Zealand

Warner Bros. Discovery New Zealand is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery that operates several television channels in New Zealand. It operates five national free-to-air television channels, eight pay-TV channels on Sky, and the Newshub service.

Warner Bros. Discovery New Zealand
FormerlyMediaWorks TV Limited (2004–2020)
Discovery NZ Limited
(2020–2022)
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryMedia
Founded2004; 20 years ago (2004)
Headquarters
Auckland, New Zealand
Area served
New Zealand
Key people
James Gibbons
(president)[1]
ParentWarner Bros. Discovery Asia-Pacific
DivisionsNewshub[2]
Websitediscoverycorporate.co.nz

It was formerly known as MediaWorks TV and operated as a subsidiary of MediaWorks New Zealand between 2004 and 2020. In 2019, MediaWorks announced that they were selling their television operations. In September 2020, Discovery, Inc. purchased MediaWorks TV with the acquisition being finalized on 1 December 2020.[3][4] The subsidiary was subsequently rebranded as Discovery New Zealand.[5]

History edit

Three was founded as TV3 in 1989 after the Fourth Labour government allowed for a private television broadcaster. CanWest obtained TV3 between 1991 and 1997 after the National government loosened rules on foreign ownership. Under CanWest control, TV3 relaunched in March 1998 with a new brand and a 3 News bulletin hosted by John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld.[citation needed]

MediaWorks New Zealand (2004–2020) edit

MediaWorks TV was created in 2004, and owned TV3 and C4. In 2005, Hilary Barry & Mike McRoberts became the station's news anchors. TV3 staff also launched youth station TV4 in 1997, and replaced it with C4 on October 3, 2003.[6]

In 2009 the timeshift channel TV3 Plus 1 was launched. C4 2 was launched in 2010, then, when TV4 returned as FOUR taking over C4's Channel 4 position in early 2011, C4 converted C4 2 into a music show as it was moved to Freeview Channel 9. In 2014, timeshift channel Four Plus 1 was launched, and The Edge TV replaced C4.[citation needed]

In May 2016, MediaWorks and NBCUniversal Television Distribution entered into a joint venture and revamped FOUR as the new reality television channel Bravo.[7][8] In August 2016, Michael Anderson was appointed as CEO of MediaWorks.[9]

In 2017, TV3 was rebranded as Three. On 15 April 2018, MediaWorks launched ThreeLife, a lifestyle channel.[10]

On 1 July 2019, The Edge TV moved exclusively online, and was replaced on TV by ThreeLife + 1.[11]

On 18 October 2019, it was announced that MediaWorks was intending to sell off their television division including Three, ThreeLife, and Bravo. MediaWorks also intends to sell its Flower Street head office and studios in Auckland's Eden Terrace. Several Three television programs and shows have also been canceled. Media commentator Bill Ralston has claimed that hundreds of jobs could be lost if a buyer is not found.[12][13][14]

ThreeLife and ThreeLife + 1 went off air on 26 March 2020. ThreeLife was replaced by The Edge TV. ThreeLife + 1 was replaced by a simulcast of The Breeze, then The Breeze TV on 16 April.[15]

On 25 May 2020, MediaWorks CEO Michael Anderson announced that the company would be eliminating 130 jobs in its sales, out-of-home, and radio divisions as a result of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand.[16][17][18]

Discovery, Inc. (2020–2022) edit

 
Discovery New Zealand logo used from 2020 to 2022.

On 7 September 2020, MediaWorks confirmed that it would be selling its entire television arm including Three, Bravo, The Edge TV, The Breeze TV, streaming service ThreeNow, and current affairs service Newshub to Discovery, Inc.[3][4][19][14] The acquisition of MediaWorks was finalised on 1 December 2020, with the subsidiary being rebranded as Discovery NZ Limited.[5]

On 27 April 2021, Discovery Inc. confirmed that it would be restructuring its business operations in Australia and New Zealand with the goal of incorporating Three, Bravo and Newshub into a single trans-Tasman organisation. Earlier in the month, Discovery announced that this new trans-Tasman organisation would be headed by two general managers, the Sydney–based Rebecca Kent and Glen Kyne in Auckland. Discovery had also separately acquired New Zealand's TopTV operations in 2019.[20]

On 13 May 2021, Newshub closed its Dunedin office as part of a restructuring of Discovery's business operations in Australia and New Zealand. Following the closure of the Dunedin newsroom, the network's South Island operations will consist of its Christchurch–based bureau as well as freelancers.[21][22]

On 10 November 2021, it was announced that Choice TV would be rebranded as Gusto in March 2022.[23] However, shortly before launch the name Gusto was scrapped and changed to "eden"[24] in order to avoid confusion with the former TVNZ OnDemand food channel of the same name. The rebranded channel will retain most of Choice's programming, with the major additions of Newshub Live at 8pm, an extension of Discovery New Zealand's news brand Newshub, and more drama programming.[25][26][27] The channel will host British drama, game shows, and "intelligent" movies including Changing Rooms, Big Family Farm, Finding Alice, and a new local show called Great Southern Truckers.

A second channel called Rush will host "high energy shows" within the survival and adventure genres including Wheeler Dealers, Man vs. Wild, Street Outlaws and Treehouse Masters. Discovery also confirmed that its working on several local productions including MasterChef New Zealand, The Masked Singer NZ, Dancing with the Stars, Match Fit, Patrick Gower: On series, David Lomas Investigates, and 7 Days.[26][27] In addition, Discovery also announced plans to launch a new Newshub Live at 8pm bulletin and AM Early show in 2022.[28]

Warner Bros. Discovery (2022–present) edit

On 8 April 2022, Discovery, Inc. acquired WarnerMedia from AT&T, with the two companies being merged into a new entity called Warner Bros. Discovery.[29] As a result, Discovery New Zealand and its assets Newshub and channel Three became part of the new media company.[30]

As a result, Discovery New Zealand was rebranded as Warner Bros. Discovery New Zealand. On 20 April 2022, World Rugby and Spark Sport announced that Warner Bros. Discovery NZ's channel Three would be the free-to-air broadcaster for the delayed Rugby World Cup 2021, held in New Zealand from 8 October to 12 November 2022.[31][32]

On 28 February 2024, Warner Bros. Discovery announced a proposal to shutter the news division of Three, Newshub, permanently beginning 1 July.[33] 300 staff are expected to lose their jobs. The head of Warner Bros. Discovery Asia Pacific cited a significant decline in TV ad revenues as the key motivator for the decision.[34] Initial reactions of shock have been compounded by concerns over the effects this could have on media concentration in New Zealand, leaving the country with only two television news broadcasters, the state-owned 1 News and Whakaata Māori.[35]

Ownership and brands edit

Ownership
Channel
Year
3 4 8 9 11 13 14 18 Online only
TVWorks 1989 TV3
1997 TV4
2003 C4
MediaWorks 2004
2009 TV3 Plus 1
2010 C4 2
2011 Four C4
2014 Four Plus 1 The Edge TV
2016 Bravo Bravo Plus 1
2017 Three ThreePlus1
2018 ThreeLife The Edge TV
The Edge TV
2019 ThreeLife + 1 The Edge TV
Discovery 2020 The Edge TV Breeze TV
Warner Bros. Discovery 2022 Eden ThreePlus1 Rush Eden+1

Services edit

Television edit

Three, Bravo, Eden and Rush are operated out of Auckland. Television advertising was sold by the MediaWorks offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Melbourne, Sydney and Hamilton. There were Newshub bureaus in the Three Headquarters in Auckland and MediaWorks offices in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, with news staff working out of other offices as needed.[citation needed] Three provided mature content, Newshub bulletins, current affairs and sport. The Edge TV launched in 2014 and broadcasts music videos and entertainment news.[citation needed] All are available via all digital platforms such as terrestrial, satellite and cable. TV3 and Four were the only ones previously available via analogue terrestrial on the VHF band before the 2013 switch-off. The Edge TV was added in 2018. Bravo and Bravo Plus 1 replaced Four and Four Plus 1 in 2016.[36] ThreeLife was added in 2018, and ThreeLife + 1 replaced The Edge TV on terrestrial in 2019. On 25 March 2020, ThreeLife went off air, and was replaced by The Edge TV, and its timeshift channel by Breeze TV.[15] In 2022, The Edge TV and Breeze TV went off air to make way for the new Rush, Eden and Eden+1 (timeshift) channels.[37]

Free-to-air television brands edit

Name Freeview Channel Sky Channel Launched Notes
Three 3
(13 - Plus1)
3
(503 - Plus1)
1989
Bravo 4
(9 - Plus 1)
12
(512 - Plus 1)
2016 Co-owned with NBCUniversal.
Eden 8

(18 - Plus 1)

13

(505 - Plus 1)

2012 Acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2019.
Known as Choice TV until 2022.
Rush 14 24 2022
HGTV 19 21 2016 Acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2019.

Former free-to-air television brands edit

Name Launched Closed Notes
Four 1997 2016 Formerly TV4. Replaced by C4 in October 2003. Relaunched as Four in February 2011.
C4 2003 2014 Replaced by The Edge TV. The first and final ever music video to air on C4 was The D4 - Exit To The City.
C42 2010 2011 Replaced by Four and converted to a music show for C4.
The Edge TV 2014 2022 Extension of the MediaWorks-owned radio brand, The Edge.
ThreeLife 2018 2020 ThreeLife and ThreeLife + 1 replaced by The Edge TV and Breeze TV respectively.
Breeze TV 2020 2022 Extension of MediaWorks-owned radio brand, The Breeze.

Current pay television brands edit

Name Sky Channel Launched Notes
TLC 16 2015
Living 17 2001 Acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2014.
ID 18 2021
Discovery 70 1994
Discovery Turbo 75 2015
Animal Planet 76 2003
CNN 87 1990 Acquired from the merger of Discovery, Inc and WarnerMedia in 2022.
Cartoon Network 102 1997 Acquired from the merger of Discovery, Inc and WarnerMedia in 2022.

Former pay television brands edit

Name Launched Closed Notes
Food Network 2005 2021 Acquired by Discovery, Inc. in 2014.

Newshub edit

Newshub is a New Zealand news service that airs on TV channel Three and has articles on their website and app. The Newshub brand replaced 3 News service on the TV3 network and the Radio Live news service heard on MediaWorks Radio stations on 1 February 2016.[38][39]

Websites edit

Website Name Primary purpose
discoverycorporate.co.nz Corporate website for various TV channels
threenow.co.nz On-demand service for Three, Bravo, Eden, Rush and HGTV
newshub.co.nz Global and New Zealand news content

Defunct websites edit

Website Name Primary purpose
choicetv.co.nz On-demand service for Choice TV
hgtv.co.nz On-demand service for HGTV

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Middleton, Richard (21 April 2022). "Warner Bros. Discovery names int'l team, as Priya Dogra, James Gibbons & Anil Jhingan take new roles". TBI Vision. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Our Brands". MediaWorks. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b "MediaWorks TV arm sold to Discovery channel owner". Stuff. 7 September 2020. Archived from the original on 7 September 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b "MediaWorks confirms sale of TV operations to Discovery Inc". Newshub. 7 September 2020. Archived from the original on 7 September 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Discovery, Inc. completes acquisition of MediaWorks TV". Discovery New Zealand. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Mediaworks Corporate". [MediaWorks. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
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  8. ^ Black, Eleanor (3 May 2016). "Mediaworks dumps FOUR for new reality channel Bravo". Stuff. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  9. ^ Pullar-strecker, Tom (2 August 2016). "MediaWorks names new CEO – lobby group says he should fill 'gaps left' by TVNZ". Stuff. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
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  11. ^ "Hot Off the Press Release: Edge TV to Go HD". ScreenScribe. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
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  13. ^ "MediaWorks staff reeling at plan to sell off TV network, Auckland headquarters". New Zealand Herald. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  14. ^ a b Greive, Duncan (18 October 2019). "MediaWorks quits television: Three will be sold – or closed". The Spinoff. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  15. ^ a b "ThreeLife". ThreeNow. 10 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
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  18. ^ Dreive, Duncan (25 May 2020). "Stuff bought by its CEO, MediaWorks announces mass layoffs in historic day for NZ media". The Spinoff. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
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External links edit