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TVNZ Heartland, New Zealand's first 100% local content channel, goes live this evening at 6pm on New Zealand Television's 50th Birthday.

TVNZ and SKY have worked together to launch TVNZ Heartland, available on the pay operator's platform to all subscribers of the SKY basic package (via SKY channel 017).

The channel launches with a special ode to New Zealand's screen heritage. From The Archives: Five Decades, presented by former TV host (Hey Hey It's Andy) and current TVNZ executive Andrew Shaw, is a five part series that reflects the mood of each decade and what was popular on the nation's screens at the time.  Tonight's episode showcases the 1960's.

TVNZ Heartland tells the stories of our country and is a channel that New Zealanders can be proud of.  The channel will bring New Zealanders both classic and contemporary local shows, including the iconic Country Calendar and Top Town, which New Zealanders have grown up with. From documentaries chronicling life in New Zealand to local drama, film, factual series, and lifestyle programming - the channel is brimming with the magic of New Zealand.

Eric Kearley, TVNZ's Head of Digital Media and Digital Channels, says the new channel will strongly reinforce Kiwi roots, bringing New Zealanders great content.

"The schedule includes programmes that have helped shape our country, and shows that will continue to influence our culture and way of life. It is a proud tapestry of our cultural identity," says Kearley.

Travis Dunbar, Director of Entertainment at SKY TV, is equally excited with the addition of this channel.

"We are delighted to make this new channel available to all SKY subscribers.  No matter what aspect of New Zealand culture takes your interest, from music to travel to comedy, drama or documentary specials, there is something on TVNZ Heartland for every Kiwi to enjoy," says Dunbar.

TVNZ Heartland is a commercial channel and is sponsored by Mitre 10, Toyota, The National Bank and Foodstuffs.

For more information, please contact:
Rachael Brough
TVNZ Heartland Communications Executive
021 276 8444