New Zealand's unique geographical situation makes television an extremely cost efficient option for national advertisers.

Note: Much of the below draws comparisons to the Australian television marketplace, for the benefit of Trans-Tasman visitors to this site.

There are four main free to air channels:
TVOne and TV2
State owned long term players in the market.
Once owned by CanWest out of Canada, now owned by MediaWorks NZ, an arm of HT Media Holdings (an international media investment company with strong Australian connections). Been in the market since 1990.
Also owned by MediaWorks NZ, in the market since 1997

Performance Issues
As a point of reference, performance of TV1, TV2 and TV3 is substantially greater than the comparable metropolitan channels in Australia, primarily due to our geographical situation and channel coverage.
The three major free to air channels in NZ all achieve national coverage, (in excess of 95%). Therefore placing one spot on any of the channels gives the opportunity to be seen nationwide. This is not the case in Australia, where one needs to purchase the major metropolitan markets individually plus all the regional channels in order to achieve national coverage. This lack of fragmentation within New Zealand assists in keeping audience costs down.

Regional Options
TV1, TV3 and Prime TV channels can also be bought on a regional basis, breakout costs as a percentage of the national rate below:

Channel and Region  
       Auckland 50%
       Waikato 20%
       Central North Island 20%
       South Island 30%
       Northern 35%
       Waikato 10%
       Central 15%
       Southern 15%
       Satellite 45%
Prime TV  
       Auckland UHF and Northern Digital 65%
       Waikato UHF only 10%
       Central UHF and Digital 20%
       Southern UHF and Digital 20%
       Dunedin UHF only 8%

Note that TV2 no longer has any regional breakouts.

The Way Airtime is Bought
Television buying is done on an individual agency or media shop basis - unlike in Australia, where most of the buying is handled via a small number of large buying groups.
In Australia, these buying groups negotiate with the channels at the beginning of the year on a group spend basis. The discounts agreed on are then held for the year. This differs markedly from New Zealand, where individual negotiations are held year round between the channels and the agencies on a campaign by campaign basis. Although the channels do like to set up an annual agreement where feasible.

The discount/bonus levels achieved in New Zealand are well in excess of those achieved in Australia.
For example, we regularly achieve bonus levels in excess of 60% - levels unheard of across the Tasman.

Cost Differentials
As a result of the above main factors, the New Zealand cost to deliver an audience on television, whether measured by CPT or Cost per (000), is substantially less than in Australia.

As an example, taking the Sydney market as being a relevant comparison to all of NZ on a population basis, the net Sydney CPT's are usually about 10% greater than the NZ gross CPT's. When the vastly greater NZ discount levels are applied, the NZ net CPT's are substantially less - giving a much lower cost of audience delivery.

Outside of Sydney in the regional markets, a reverse economy of scale comes into play in these smaller markets. Consequently audience delivery costs in these regional markets can be even greater than in the large metro markets.

New Zealand television spot rates (for 30 seconds), range from $200 to $19,000.
The below table shows the cost for varying commercial duration. This is TVNZ's, however most channels are similar.
Durations shorter than 15 seconds are also available (5, 7, 8, 10), however special conditions do apply to these. Best to check first!

Duration Cost as % of 30sec rate
   15 SECONDS  60%
   30 SECONDS 100%
   45 SECONDS 145%
   60 SECONDS 180%
   75 SECONDS 250%
   90 SECONDS 300%
   105 SECONDS 350%
   120 SECONDS 400%
   135 SECONDS 450%
   150 SECONDS 500%
   180 SECONDS 600%

Standard commercial durations apply to both national and regional spots. Durations above 60” are only available on a national basis.

Other Television
In addition to the main free to air channels, there are a number of specific regional channels plus a variety of pay channels available.

Regional TV has had more downs than ups in this country - many operators have tried to establish a strong regional presence, but most have fallen by the wayside. Only in Christchurch has a regional channel established a long term, viable and supported presence.

Pay TV in New Zealand is the domain of SKY TV. First founded in 1987 it now has close to 722,000 subscribers nationwide. Mainstream channels on SKY are Sports, Movies, News and Sky1 on the UHF frequency. In late 1998, a further service was launched utilising satellite delivery, which beams in further channels to subscribers - (Sport2, Rugby Channel, ESPN, CNN, CNBC Asia, Hallmark, TNT, Juice, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery, Living Channel, Movie, Movies Great, Food TV, History, Vibe, Cartoon Network, E!, CI and UKTV).
More than 80% of subscribers to SKY are now on the digital delivery system.

Channel Share Summary
As a quick and dirty point of reference, indicative station shares are shown in the table below, monitored against an All People aged 5+ target, averaged over Jan to Dec 2014.

Channel/Group Share %
     TVOne 23%
     TV2 15%
     TV3 11%
     FOUR 3%
     Sky Network (all) 32%
     Prime TV 4%
     Maori TV 1%
     Choice TV 3%

SKY Channels
     The Box 2%
     Movies Premiere 1%
     Sport 1 2%
     Sport 2 1%
     Discovery 1%
     National Geographic 1%
     Animal Planet 0%
     Juice TV 0%
     J2 0%
     Nickelodeon 1%
     Cartoon Network 1%
     Vibe 1%
     Jones 1%
     C&I 2%

Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD)

This is the growth area with a number of operators commencing business in early 2015. The below data is current as at March 2015 but it will be changing quickly no doubt!

Owned by Spark, launched late 2014.
Priced at $15 per month, however Spark is offering 12 months’ complimentary Lightbox to all of its approximately 600,000 home broadband subscribers.

Lightbox Sport
Announced just recently. Lightbox has no sport content. So this is a joint venture between Coliseum Sports Media and Spark. CSM are the people who took the English Premier League off of SKY.
Currently their sports programming includes golf, English Premier League football and French Top 14 rugby. 
CSM is owned by private investors.

NetflixOwned by Netflix International BV, registered in the Netherlands.
Vodafone is the distribution partner in NZ.
Vodafone is offering a  promotion that will give Vodafone subscribers on one of the available 24-month Red+ mobile plans six months' free access (the promotion is available until 30 June).
Note the difference to the Lightbox offer from Spark - Vodafone is offering free access to start with over their 4G mobile network, and not on home broadband (yet).
Whereas Spark is offering free access to their home broadband subscribers and not to mobile subscribers (yet!!!).

Privately owned out of Australia.
Up and running at a basic sub of $13 per month plus additional costs for premium/new release content.

Owned by SKY. Offered at $20 per month. Streaming, not through the SKY decoder.
Vodafone is a distribution partner with a similar offer to that offered for Netflix, but to its broadband customers rather than to 4g users.