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TV3
History | Videos

1989-2003


2003-

TV3
New Zealand

In 1984 applications were called for a third television channel in New Zealand. Many private enterprise applications were received, including the TV3 Consortium, which was formed out of four separate regional channels to apply for the licence.
In August 1987, the Broadcasting Tribunal announced that TV3 had won the licence, with a proposal for a regional based network.
In October 1987, the stock market crashed, delaying TV3 launch. However, it was finally launched on 26 November 1989 as a single national network, with 13 transmitters around New Zealand, covering 67% of the country instead of the proposed regional coverage. TV3 was the first privatly owned television channel, breaking the government owned monopoly.
TV3 went into receivership on 2 May 1990, however still continued to broadcast under the control of the receiver, and with continued support from Westpac Bank, the major creditor. A worldwide search was undertaken to find an operating partner. Canadian owned CanWest, bought 20% of TV3 and secured a management agreement to operate the network in 1991. CanWest retargeted the network to attract the 18 to 49 year old age group. This was successful, as TV3 was soon operating profitably.
In 1996 CanWest started planning a fourth New Zealand network, called
TV4.
In April 1997, CanWest bought Westpac's shares in TV3 and increased CanWest's shareholdings to 68%. TV3 installed a further 25 transmitters increasing coverage to 97%. In June 1997, TV4 was launched by CanWest as a complementary broadcaster to TV3. In November 1997 CanWest increased it's stake in TV3 to 100%.
In 1999, TV3 completed a deal with SKY Television to make it the leading free-to-air sports broadcaster.
On 1 January 2000, TV3 began transmission on SKY's digital platform. TV3 currently reaches 98% of New Zealand's population.