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thePlatform Selected by SKY Television for Video Publishing and Management of Online TV Service for SKY Subscribers in New Zealand

January 31, 2011

SEATTLE and AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — thePlatform, the leading white-label video publishing company, today announced that it was selected by SKY Television, the largest pay television broadcasting service in New Zealand, to provide the back-end video management for the iSKY online TV service. The new iSKY service is currently available to SKY subscribers and provides the opportunity to view their favorite programs and movies on their computers.

iSKY content is based on subscribers’ existing TV packages and features live streaming channels including: Sky News New Zealand, CNN and Sky Sports channels. On-demand content is also available including “catch-up” TV episodes and movies. In addition to these free online services to existing SKY subscribers, the iSKY portal offers thousands of movie titles and TV episodes for rent on a pay-per-view basis.

“Our primary focus for the iSKY service is to provide a seamless entertainment experience for our subscribers,” said John Fellet, CEO for SKY Television. “thePlatform’s proven expertise in supporting large ‘TV Everywhere’ deployments in North America made them the right choice to deliver the scale required to support our back-end video management. The mpx publishing system is easy to use and allows us the flexibility and reliability to ensure that each of our customers logging into iSKY are able to watch the shows and movies of their particular SKY subscription package.”

“SKY Television is at the forefront of innovation by bringing their subscribers a vast library of premium video into a unified customer experience,” said Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform. “We are very proud to have been selected to provide the central back-end logistics necessary to make iSKY easy for SKY Television and for their customers, and we look forward to supporting their future endeavors.”

thePlatform’s, cloud-based, mpx video management system serves as the central hub for SKY TV’s content partners for publishing video to the iSKY website. SKY is using thePlatform’s “TV Everywhere” solution to authenticate subscribers on iSKY and authorize online playback on individual videos based on a user’s paid TV subscription package.

SKY Television’s broadband partnerships thus far include Vodafone, Orcon, Slingshot, Farmside, Xnet, Woosh, Snap and WIZwireless. SKY subscribers who have one of these internet service providers (ISPs) will be able to take advantage of unmetered plans – iSKY viewing will not count toward users’ monthly data allowance on these ISPs. For more information on iSKY, visit www.isky.co.nz.

thePlatform publishes video and other media to PCs, mobile devices and TV. Media companies rely on thePlatform as their open, central hub for managing, monetizing and syndicating billions of professionally produced video views annually. thePlatform currently provides online video management services to numerous programmers, leading media companies, and five of the top cable TV service providers in North America, including the largest “TV Everywhere” deployments. For additional information about thePlatform, visit www.thePlatform.com.

About thePlatform

thePlatform(TM) is the leading white-label video management and publishing company. Media companies rely on thePlatform as their open, central hub for managing, monetizing, and syndicating billions of professionally produced video views annually. The company’s services provide unmatched versatility for designing and supporting video businesses on PCs, mobile, and TV. Customers include: Cablevision, Canwest, CBC, Comcast, Corus Entertainment, Cox Communications, ExerciseTV, HIT Entertainment, NBC Local Media, Outdoor Channel, PBS, PBS KIDS Sprout, Rogers, Sony BMG, Starz Play, Time Warner Cable, Travel Channel Media, truTV and numerous others. With a 10-year history of service, thePlatform is an independent subsidiary of Comcast based in Seattle, Wash. For more information: www.thePlatform.com.

About SKY Television

SKY is the pre-eminent pay television broadcasting service in New Zealand offering a wide range of sports, movies, music, on-demand and general content across more than 110 channels. It is listed on NZX and the ASX and had a market capitalisation as at 30 June 2010 of NZ$ 1.8 billion based on a share price of NZ$ 4.69 at that time. SKY’s principal business activity is the distribution of both local and foreign programme content to its subscriber base, predominantly through a digital satellite network. As of 30 June 2010, SKY had a total of 802,397 subscribers, representing a residential household penetration of approximately 47.9%.

SKY launched as a three-channel UHF service in 1990, with two further channels added four years later. SKY’s UHF signal reached more than 83% of the country’s 1.5 million households. In December 1998 SKY launched a digital satellite service, extending its reach to the whole country. More than 49% of New Zealand homes subscribe to SKY. The analogue UHF service closed down on 10 March 2010.

SKY also offers pay-per-view movies, live events and interactive services including Skybet, the Weather Channel, and games channels Mind Games and PlayinTV and is also the cornerstone shareholder in Fatso, New Zealand’s premier online DVD rental service.

On 8 February 2006, SKY completed the purchase of the New Zealand television business of PRIME Television Ltd. The acquisition of a free-to-air channel gives SKY the opportunity to showcase its channels and programmes whilst ensuring that New Zealand consumers can view delayed free-to-air sports programmes such as rugby, rugby league and cricket in primetime.

In July 2008 SKY launched MYSKYHDi, a new High Definition decoder and PVR with Dolby Digital surround sound, IPTV capability and increased storage. SKY currently offers seven MPEG 4 High Definition television channels (SKY Sport 1 and 2, SKY Movies and SKY Movies Greats, TV3 HD, TVONE HD and TV2 HD) to subscribers.

iSKY is SKY’s new online TV service. iSKY lets viewers access all their favourite SKY content on their computer, wherever they are. iSKY is free to SKY subscribers and allows them access to a huge library of content based on their existing SKY package, including movies, sports highlights and free catch-up viewing for nearly all the basic channels plus Prime. In addition the service offers a selection of movies and TV series on a pay-per-view rental basis.

All product and service names listed in this release remain property of their parent companies and do not indicate official support or endorsement for thePlatform or its products and services.

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Source: newswire