International media giant Discovery, Inc has officially completed its acquisition of MediaWorks TV Ltd.
MediaWorks TV, which owns Newshub and Three, was put up for sale in October last year.
The MediaWorks TV acquisition is Discovery's most significant free-to-air investment in the New Zealand market to date. It includes entertainment channels Three and Bravo, streaming service ThreeNow, and multi-platform news and current affairs service Newshub, as well as the further channels Three+1, Bravo+1, The Edge TV and The Breeze TV.
Discovery currently operates a portfolio of six pay-TV channels in New Zealand including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, Living and Discovery Turbo and two free-to-air channels HGTV and Choice TV.
Discovery will continue the existing partnership with NBCUniversal for the Bravo channel joint venture.
Discovery has had a presence in New Zealand since 1994 when it first launched Discovery Channel on Sky.
Discovery will now look to combine its businesses across New Zealand and Australia into one organisation spanning both countries, a move designed to increase scale across the region as a whole.
The business will be jointly led by Glen Kyne and Rebecca Kent, general managers for New Zealand and Australia, who report to Simon Robinson, Discovery president for Asia-Pacific.
"Today is an exciting moment for Discovery as we significantly expand our operations in New Zealand, and look to create a trans-Tasman powerhouse organisation led by Glen Kyne and Rebecca Kent," said Robinson.
"The acquisition of MediaWorks TV, with its popular brands and prominent position in New Zealand, will be pivotal in achieving long-term growth and success in both markets."
"We have worked hard to get Three to a clear number two position in the free-to-air market [according to Nielsen Television Audience Measurement], and now have the opportunity to apply that same focus across the wider portfolio to further strengthen our position," said Kyne.
"Our increased share in New Zealand, alongside our established offering in Australia, will enable us to realise the full value of Discovery brands, delivering premium news and entertainment to our audiences and enhanced solutions for our advertisers."
Kent said the completion of the acquisition of MediaWorks TV provides "an opportunity to build audiences further with locally produced and internationally acquired content across multiple screens".
"We are focused on bringing audiences the local stories that Discovery and Three are renowned for through our successful local productions, and using Discovery's international network to bring local audiences the best of our stories from around the world," she said.