• Sky buys Lightbox from Spark for undisclosed fee
  • Lightbox to be merged with Sky’s own OTT service Neon
  • Spark customers will continue to have access to Lightbox as part of agreement

spark arena (Michael W NZ shutterstock)

Spark arena: New Zealand

Source: Michael W NZ / Shutterstock

Spark has completed the sale of its Lightbox streaming service to Sky New Zealand for an undisclosed fee.

Lightbox – which has around 130,000 users – will now be merged with Sky’s existing OTT platform Neon.

In a statement to the New Zealand Exchange, Sky said it will continue to offer the newly merged service to Spark customers through an agreement with the NZ telco.

This deal means Spark customers can who have signed up to a mobile or broadband package including Lightbox will continue to receive the service. The two also plan to offer the newly merged service to Spark once it has launched.

Sky chief legal, people and partnerships officer Sophie Moloney said: “We are delighted to welcome over 130,000 Lightbox customers to the Sky world, and look forward to delivering a super-charged new service to all New Zealanders towards the middle of this year. We also welcome the Lightbox team to Sky and look forward to working together to create a special new service.

“Neon and Lightbox have a superb line-up of content, including Outlander, Love Island UK, The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld. Bringing them together will create the leading locally-delivered streaming service for New Zealanders.”

The deal, which was first announced in December, is the latest move as it looks to reverse the fortunes of its Pay TV business in the country. In order to compete with Spark, Sky has snapped up sports including an exclusive deal with New Zealand Rugby.

When the deal was first announced in December, Spark said the sale of Lightbox, which it created in 2014, ensures a “sustainable future” for Kiwi SVoD service.

At the time, Spark marketing director Matt Bain said: “In the last five years, there has been significant growth and evolution in the subscription video on demand (SVOD) market.

“Selling the Lightbox business to Sky ensures a sustainable future for Kiwi SVOD services, while giving us the ongoing ability to provide access to a high-quality TV and movie streaming service, which benefits from a significantly enhanced range of entertainment content from Sky.”

It comes as the OTT market globally is hotting up, with the launch of a number of new services, including Disney+ and Apple TV+.