TVNZ, Show TV challenges sees Telecom drop ShowmeTV brand, register alternative name
Telecom says it's still launching its internet TV service ShowmeTV later this year - but not with that name.
A "pragmatic" decision has been made to abandon the name following public complaints by shopping channel Show Television Limited and its sister company, the retailer Show Me Limited.
Telecom has yet to decide on a new name for the service.
Although a Telecom statement (below) only references Show Me Televison and Show Me, The Intellectual Property Office website also lists an objection filed by TVNZ.
The state broadcaster - which has an advertising campaign with the tag line "Show Me" - had filed for an extension to give it time to object. It has now dropped the objection, given it has been taken over by events, a spokeswoman told NBR this afternoon.
On February 20, Telecom began the process of registering a trademark for Spark TV - a name that lends itself as a ShowMeTV alternative (at least to a degree; ShowmeTV, or whatever the new internet TV service is finally called, will be open to customers of all ISPs, not just Telecom/Spark).
Auckland University marketing lecturer Dr Bodo Lang from says the decision is disappointing but “no biggie”.
He says it is surprising that Telecom did not do proper due diligence, given that for the Spark name change it had consulted carefully with the sports organization SPARC.
However he says the brand damage is limited because no advertising campaigns have been launched and the name won’t be stuck in consumers’ minds yet.
“This all seems a bit rushed. But with these large companies is once something is approved at board level you have to commit.”
Dr Lang says because Telecom is publicly listed it may have released the name earlier than it wanted to.
RAW DATA: Telecom statement
Telecom to launch its internet TV and movie service under alternative brand name
Telecom said today it intends to launch its cutting edge internet-delivered TV and movie service later this year under an alternative brand name to ShowmeTV.
Within days of the brand being unveiled on 21 February, two companies that are related to each other, Show Television Limited and Show Me Limited, publicly raised concerns about Telecom’s use of ShowmeTV.
“Although we were aware beforehand of the existence of these other companies and had been following the appropriate trademarking processes in relevant categories, once we heard of their concerns we initiated discussions with them,” said Simon Hoegsbro, senior vice president broadband and digital media, Telecom Digital Ventures.
“While we believe we had the ability to continue with the ShowmeTV brand under the relevant trademark categories, we accept that Show Television and Show Me had some legitimate concerns given their own business. Taking everything into account, and given that we have not yet made any marketing investment in this brand, we didn’t think having a prolonged dispute about the name was in anyone’s interest.
“We’ve therefore made a pragmatic decision to move on and ensure our attention is fully focused on the development and forthcoming launch of our internet TV and movie service. We will be announcing a new name for the service in due course, either before or when we move to commercial launch later this year. The quality of our internet TV offering, not the brand name, will be pivotal to our success.”
Show Television Director and group spokesman, Darryl Clarke, said, “We would like to acknowledge Telecom for taking a pragmatic approach and resolving the situation.”
Mr Hoegsbro commented, “Since we announced our plans just over three weeks ago, we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from New Zealand consumers and from industry commentators and participants. It’s clear that New Zealanders are thirsting for more choice about how to get their home entertainment and are ready to try new ways to access content over rapidly improving and expanding broadband networks. We are looking forward to sharing more about our plans in the near future.”