Watching TV in New Zealand: How to get what you pay for

Kiwis are spoiled for choice when it comes to TV options and paid streaming services, but how much do we really have to shell out?

With the rising cost of living forcing many of us to tighten our belts, it’s worth checking how much you’re paying for Netflix, Sky, Neon, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, and figuring out which service to watch. streaming or pay TV platform offers your family. the best value for money.

Evaluate your options

Netflix helped usher in the new era of streaming worldwide, although they now face competition from Amazon Prime Video and AppleTV+.

Getty/Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

Netflix helped usher in the new era of streaming worldwide, although they now face competition from Amazon Prime Video and AppleTV+.

Sky has long been the big player in pay TV – especially for sports fans – but the traditional satellite service requires you to sign up for a Starter package at $25.99 a month. That’s before they charge an extra $20.93 for movies, while prices for their Sports subscriptions increase by $3 to $34.99 from May 1.

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Those costs may overwhelm those more interested in movies and TV shows, where Netflix has been able to impose itself, with plans starting at $12.99 per month.

Similarly, Neon, which has film and TV content similar to Sky – including HBO – with the option to watch on demand, is available for $15.99 per month, or $159.99 per month. year.

$8 Amazon Prime Video, $7.99 AcornTV and $8.99 AppleTV+ offer good value monthly subscriptions, but the latter two may lack appeal for families – though AppleTV+ is growing in diversity and quality.

Disney+ has gained a foothold in the local market, especially with families, for a monthly bill of $12.99.

But the convenience of the MySky feature that lets you pause, rewind and record live TV – for the extra monthly cost of $15 – means Sky remains an attractive option, especially in busy households where a range of TV shows, movies and sports entertainment is preferred.

competition helps

Sky Sport once held a monopoly but now faces competition from Spark Sport, which pulled off a coup by securing the rights to broadcast Rugby World Cup 2019.

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Sky Sport once held a monopoly but now faces competition from Spark Sport, which pulled off a coup by securing the rights to broadcast Rugby World Cup 2019.

However, Sky has faced increased competition from Spark Sport – which won the broadcast rights to Rugby World Cup 2019, and also offers international cricket – with subscriptions starting at $24.99 a month.

Sky has risen to the challenge by offering budget sports streaming plans with Sky Sport Now available with a weekly ($19.99), monthly ($39.99) or yearly ($399.99) pass.

The loyalty of sports viewers is set to be further tested as we await confirmation on which platform will get the lucrative rights to Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.

If we had to choose one?

Disney+ has made its presence felt in New Zealand with a huge catalog of classics and new shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

DISNEY

Disney+ has made its presence felt in New Zealand with a huge catalog of classics and new shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

“In terms of family viewing, Disney+ would still be ahead of the pack given the catalog of over 80 years of entertainment they must draw from,” says Thing film and television critic James Croot.

“Specific new content drops every month, many of which tie into existing franchises, while there’s been a recent surge of popular TV series like Grey’s Anatomy, the resident etc being relocated from other places like TVNZ – at the expense of the latter.

Treat yourself and move on

Free trials are a good way to cut costs while consuming the content you want.

“In terms of good deals, it’s definitely about investigating free trials, timing them properly in terms of the shows you particularly want to watch,” Croot says.

“For example, waiting until there are only a few episodes left so you can binge-watch an entire season.”

Tiger King has been a hit with Netflix subscribers around the world.

Provided

Tiger King has been a hit with Netflix subscribers around the world.

Consumer NZ also suggests Kiwis be flexible with their subscriptions, getting into the habit of putting them on hold when you’ve had enough – this goes for film buffs and TV viewers, as well as sports fans.

“Pick one service and watch all the new stuff you’re interested in, then cancel it and move on to another,” says product review author Nick Gelling.

“You can always reactivate these accounts and pick up where you left off.”

What are we paying compared to Australia?

Foxtel – Australia's answer to Sky – offers HBO's hit drama series Succession among its wide range of premium content.

Thing

Foxtel – Australia’s answer to Sky – offers HBO’s hit drama series Succession among its wide range of premium content.

The good news is that Kiwis shell out roughly the same money for streaming privileges as our Australian neighbors.

On the other side of the divide, most monthly subscriptions are around the same mark as New Zealand.

However, where they trump us is the wider range of streaming and pay-TV options available – although the costs are still relatively on par.

Australian Foxtel faces competition from sports streaming platforms Stan Sport and Kayo.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australian Foxtel faces competition from sports streaming platforms Stan Sport and Kayo.

Australians also enjoy access to better free on-demand platforms such as SBS, ABC and 9Now.