TV set, remote control.
Sky Television chief executive John Fellet is confident its pay Igloo TV joint venture with Television New Zealand will start in May or June, despite a Commerce Commission investigation into the way it was set up.
Amid increasingly vocal criticism of Sky TV with the arrival of a new competitor on the pay TV market - Quickflix - Fellet says the launch will go ahead as planned. But the joint venture has come at a pivotal time in the market when critics of Sky's dominant role are becoming more vocal.
So let's get vocal then. The anti-competitive behaviour of the big players in TV is actually getting worse. The Freeview model has been deliberately hamstrung by the big boys to keep their pay operations going - in fact they have sabotaged Freeview. Sadly TVNZ is abetting Sky to achieve less choice and impose more costs on consumers. The government - and in particular the National government - has allowed Sky to do this and has encouraged TVNZ to build a duopoly with Sky.
This year the analogue TV transmission starts to be phased out. We will be left with Freeview. The silly ad campaign hypes it like it has as many channels as Sky, but the channels they carry are dwindling - from not many, to fuck all.
TVNZ has kept the best of its heritage content on Sky and off Freeview. TVNZ is going to pull the plug on the TVNZ7 channel and rumours are it will be leased to the Briscoes group(!) for wall-to-wall infomercials. Stratos has had to pull out of Freeview:
The switchover to digital does not have provision for that type of TV (unless one is able to purchase the frequency - a commercially improbability in Auckland for non-commercial stations), so the long term future of Triangle is also in doubt when analogue switch off happens in December 2013.
The Freeview hype is looking more like hypocrisy.
But Government ministers strongly backed Sky TV.
Both Communications and ICT Minister Amy Adams and her predecessor, Steven Joyce, have praised Sky TV - and both insist they see no need to regulate pay TV.
The arrival of Quickflix signals the days of unchallenged dominance may be over. The Government remains resolutely hands-off Sky, but it is still not clear whether the Commerce Commission will delve into the workings of a market Dr Freeth says is dysfunctional, but the Government says is working well.
As well as the Commerce Commission inquiry into Igloo, Sky is facing two other developments.
The first is a report by Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Ross Patterson on a study of the new Ultra Fast Broadband - the draft of which will be published on May 25.
The second is whether there are any barriers to uptake, such as content.
The Igloo (Sky Jr. teaser) concept is premised on Freeview remaining as weak as possible, offering as little content as possible. This is why TVNZ is removing channels from Freeview and why the government is hostile to smaller players like Triangle staying on the platform. The future they envisage is fee TV not free TV.