Sky TV is refusing to run Slingshot’s latest TV ads, which mention the Global Mode service that lets users access Netflix.
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The Global Mode service lets you “pretend” to be from the US in order to get around geoblocks and access services such as Netflix.
Sky TV spokeswoman Kirsty Way confirmed the advertisements had been rejected because of their references to Slingshot’s feature Global Mode, given the recent strong connections made with accessing Netflix.
Sky has suggested Slingshot recut the proposed ad to remove references to Global Mode if they wish to advertise on Sky.
Slingshot general manager Taryn Hamilton said Sky imposed the ban late on Friday and that “the move smacks of protectionism and censorship”.
He added: “[It’s] a sad day when our TV stations start to ban ads because they feel threatened by one of their advertisers and the products they are offering.”
Ms Way said “[Sky is] in the business of paying the people who create TV, film and other content for the rights to broadcast their work in New Zealand, and are against any form of piracy that undermines intellectual property rights”.
Accessing Netflix is not piracy and is completely legal under New Zealand law. Netflix pays for broadcast rights in a similar way to Sky, though not with jurisdiction for New Zealand.
Sky has paid for the rights to broadcast in New Zealand many of the shows that are also available on Netflix.