Bravo to launch as free-to-air channel in New Zealand

Bravo will make its New Zealand debut in July under a joint venture between NBCUniversal International Networks and broadcaster Mediaworks.
May 3, 2016

NBCUniversal-owned channel brand Bravo is heading to New Zealand.

The lifestyle network will take over Kiwi broadcaster Mediaworks’ FOUR channel in July as part of a joint venture between NBCUniversal International Networks and Mediaworks.

The deal also marks the first time Bravo is being offered as a free-to-air channel. The channel’s headquarters will be located in Mediaworks’ Auckland office.

Unscripted franchises and series familiar to U.S. audiences will air on the network including real estate, fashion, cooking and docusoap-focused fare such as Million Dollar Listing, Top Chef, Vanderpump Rules, Flipping Out and Shahs of Sunset.

Additionally, Bravo has commissioned a local Real Housewives franchise – The Real Housewives of Auckland – to be produced by Matchbox Pictures, producers of The Real Housewives of Melbourne (pictured). The series will premiere in August.

Matchbox has produced three seasons of the Melbourne edition of the Housewives and is also currently casting for The Real Housewives of Sydney.

Recently debuted U.S. series set to air on Bravo in New Zealand this year include Tour Group, Below Deck: Mediterranean, Après Ski, The Real Housewives of Potomac and The Real Housewives of Dallas.

“The new JV is a major milestone for NBCUniversal International’s business in New Zealand as the company invests in local growth in the region to compete even more effectively and build profile with local advertisers and viewers,” the company said in a statement.

“Asia-Pacific is an important growth region for NBCUniversal International and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to invest further in New Zealand,” added NBCUniversal International Distribution & Networks president Belinda Menendez.

In addition to FOUR, Mediaworks operates the free-to-air channel TV3.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.