TVNZ to flesh out portal, partnership plans

Television New Zealand is expected today to announce key details of its Internet strategy - including confirmation of its relationship with NBC's Snap.com and its planned 'home page for New Zealand'.

Television New Zealand is expected today to announce key details of its Internet strategy - including confirmation of its relationship with NBC's Snap.com and its planned "home page for New Zealand".

An acknowledgement by TVNZ of a relationship with the US TV network's Internet division, NBCi, and its Snap.com portal would follow NBCi's announcement last week of new relationships with two other companies in the Asia-Pacific region.

In one move, NBCi is to take an initial 35% stake in Internet developer Asiacontent.com. But TVNZ's announcement will be more along the lines of that from Australia's Seven Network. Seven and NBCi announced last week that they would be partners in the development of co-branded online and broadband consumer services.

Seven is to license NBCi technology, content and services for the use of its own Internet division i7, and NBCi said in a statement that had "agreed to take a significant shareholding in i7 should the company pursue a listing on the Australian Stock Exchange."

TVNZ's position differs from that of the Australian broadcaster in that its own Internet offerings are currently far more substantial than Seven's. Unlike Seven, it already has a track record of delivering dedicated Internet news services, including streaming videos.

TVNZ quietly integrated Snap.com portal content into its own site last month. It is understood to be particularly keen on access to the high-bandwidth content Snap.com offers in the US.

TVNZ will also today confirm its plans to turn the TV One site into a New Zealand Web portal - but won't announce the brand for the new portal until its launches in about two months' time. A .com domain name for the new venture has been registered.

The broadcaster has been working on the portal project for more than a year and confirmed some time ago that a number of significant local business seeking a window on the world would be part of the project.

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