13 May 2014

Sale seen as boon for local TV industry

9:03 pm on 13 May 2014

The sale of the companies that make Shortland Street to two overseas companies could mean a boom in exposure for the domestic TV industry.

130514. Photo TVNZ. Screengrab from TV series Shortland Street.

A scene from the Shortland Street TV series. Photo: TVNZ

South Pacific Pictures' parent company All3Media, which comprises 19 production and distribution companies, has been sold to Discovery Communications and Liberty Group.

South Pacific Pictures is New Zealand's largest screen production company and has been making domestic content for 25 years.

Its work includes Shortland Street, New Zealand Idol, Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, and the film Whale Rider.

Chairman John Barnett said the sale means more exposure for actors and those that work behind the scenes as more channels overseas will see New Zealand content.

He said the change in ownership won't change day to day operations at all.

All staff would keep their jobs, with the big corporations keeping their hands off day-to-day operations, and Mr Barnett suggested the sale would also see more exposure for local actors and filmmakers.

The chief executive of Avalon Film and Television Studios, in Lower Hutt, Paul Mannering, said the most the deal would do was to give exposure to local talent.

Mr Mannering said the sale was a sign that New Zealand's productions were considered world-class.