Sky TV Bans Ads for VPN-like Services from Slingshot

Slingshot, the New Zealand ISP that recently began offering a VPN-like service built in, has found its ads turned away from Sky TV on “copyright grounds”.


Example of one of the ads. Photo: Slingshot

Early last month Slingshot began offering its newest service Global Mode in a bid to allow users to access content that is normally geo-restricted, a service generally offered by VPN providers. Slingshot had no reservations with saying that this was to give NZ customers access to Netflix and the like. Netflix has not yet launched in New Zealand.

Sky TV has taken exception by banning ads that Slingshot wanted to run promoting the service, claiming that Global Mode amounts to copyright infringement.

Kirsty Way, a Sky spokeswoman, confirmed to Stuff that the withdrawal of the ads is due to the references to Global Mode. “We are a business that pays people who create television so we are against any form of piracy or the undermining of intellectual property rights,” said Way.

Global Mode was a way of illegitimately accessing Netflix which “did not pay for content rights in this territory”, she said.

Slingshot’s general manager Taryn Hamilton called the ban “unjustified and petty” and said that Global Mode exists because New Zealanders deserve equal access to online streaming services at a good price, referencing the fact that Netflix has upped its subscription price and will likely be higher when it launches in Australia and New Zealand.

“When and if local companies manage to finally crack that, then there will be no need for the service,” he said. “But, until that time, people will use services like Global Mode so that they can see decent TV without having to get a second mortgage.”

You can check out one of the ads by clicking here. We also spoke with a number of VPN providers for their take on ISPs offering VPN-like services.