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NEP to be Sky NZ’s production partner for 10 years in purchase of OB assets

International outdoor broadcasting specialist NEP has agreed a takeover of the sports production subsidiary of pay-television broadcaster Sky New Zealand.

Sky has agreed to sell Outside Broadcast (OSB) to NEP, which will acquire assets including six outside broadcast trucks and two warehouses.

As part of the sale, NEP will be Sky’s technical production partner in New Zealand for the next decade.

Sky acquired OSB from Australia-based Prime Media Group in a NZ$35m (€19.1m/$22.6m) deal back in 2010. After liabilities, the net amount was NZ$13.5m.

NEP moved into the New Zealand market in 2018 by taking over production company NZ Live, providing competition to Sky’s in-house capabilities.

The pay-television broadcaster said that the majority of OSB staff and “some Sky broadcast specialists” would now move to NEP New Zealand, but that Sky would “retain its world-class sports production team who will be working closely with NEP New Zealand”.

Sky New Zealand chief executive Martin Stewart said: “The rate of technological change in the OB space is significant, and the advantage of this transaction is Sky Sport will continue to have access to the best advancements in the OB world without Sky having to make substantial investments to own equipment.”

Around NZ$50m will be saved by Sky in capital expenditure over the next five years as a result of the sale, according to the broadcaster.

Following NEP’s entry into New Zealand, the president of the company’s Australia division, Soames Treffry, said it would be willing to support the sports production operations of public-service broadcaster TVNZ and telco Spark, as well as film events for Sky if the broadcaster was looking to outsource work.

The sale is subject to approval from the Overseas Investment Office and the New Zealand Commerce Commission, and relevant applications have been lodged.