TVNZ to Detail Portal Plans

AUCKLAND (01/25/2000) - Television New Zealand (TVNZ) was expected to announce late last week key details of its Internet strategy -- including confirmation of its relationship with NBC's Snap.com and its planned "home page for New Zealand".

TVNZ's acknowledgement of its relationship with the U.S. TV network's Internet division, NBCi, and its Snap.com portal follows NBCi's recent announcement of new relationships with two other companies in the Asia-Pacific region.

In one move, NBCi is to take an initial 35 percent stake in Net developer Asiacontent.com. But TVNZ's announcement will be more along the lines of that from Australia's Seven Network. Seven and NBCi have announced they would be partners in the development of co-branded online and broadband consumer services.

Seven is to license NBCi technology, content and services for the use of its own Internet division i7, and NBCi said in a statement it had "agreed to take a significant shareholding in i7 should the company pursue a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange".

TVNZ's position differs from that of the Australian broadcaster in that its own Internet offerings are currently far more substantial than Seven's. Unlike Seven, it already has a track record of delivering dedicated Internet news services, including streaming videos.

TVNZ quietly integrated Snap.com portal content into its own site last month.

It is understood to be particularly keen on access to the high-bandwidth content Snap.com offers in the U.S.

TVNZ was also due to confirm its plans to turn the TV One site into a New Zealand Web portal - but won't announce the brand for the new portal until it launches in about two months' time.

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