View Full Version : Missing guida data (Prime, MaoriTV)

09-11-2009, 09:54 AM
As you've heard, both MaoriTV and Prime have refused to allow TiVo access to their guide data for various reasons. I'm not to affected by MaoriTV but Prime is a nuisance because I'd watch it more if I knew what was on. :mad:

The TiVo guide just chunks it into 1-hour blocks and says to contact Prime or MaoriTV to ask for the guide.

My personal opinion is that Maori TV have refused due to their ongoing spat with TVNZ over the Rugby, and Prime have refused because Prime is owned by Sky, and TiVo is a competitor to MySky - although their official line is that TiVo prevents them from collecting viewing statistics, somehow.

Does anyone know what name/address we should write to in order to complain and/or request that the guide data be released? The only details I have for Prime are:

0800 759 759 (SKY Customer service)
SKY Television
PO Box 9059
however it would be better to have it more targeted to an individual or department.

Also, does anyone want to co-ordinate a group petition to Prime and MaoriTV asking them to increase their viewership by playing with the TiVo users?

I've also found some inaccuracies in the guide, so far for TV3. Missing episode info (Dora the Explorer) is causing it to record the same show from both TV3 and TV3+1, plus TV3 seems to be starting about 5min earlier than the TiVo is recording. There's another program (Wipeout) being listed as Simpsons, too. If I've found this many errors so far Im a bit worried about overall accuracy (or how well the station keep to their schedules)


10-11-2009, 05:47 AM
Can't find an address, however maybe this mechanism can be used?


10-11-2009, 07:01 AM
I'd get in on something.


10-11-2009, 08:11 AM
Since I'm currently laid up with a broken leg (courtesy of a stupid car driver) I have some (too much) free time on my hands; I wouldn't mind collecting petition entries and submitting them. However I've not done anything like that before.

Only problems I can see are
(1) we'd need a short, standard format letter that everyone could print, sign, and post to me for accumulation into a single pile for submission to Sky and MaoriTV, and
(2) we really need to know the best place to submit this to rather than the generic customer service address.

I think the TiVo people would be all in favour of this and maybe help out with number (2). I can have a go at writing a petition letter but anyone with more of a legal bent might want to try instead? Also, once we have something ready, we can mention it to NZ Post - maybe get mentioned in there would help.

I'll try and get something started this week; once we have an open letter written, can start collecting signatures.


10-11-2009, 12:09 PM
I asked TiVo about who to talk or write to at Prime; they just directed me to this page (http://support.mytivo.co.nz/index.php?solution_id=1040) which only gives a phone number - 0800 759 759.
However, these people then gave me the Prime TV office phone number, which is 09 414 0700, and their postal address, which is

Prime TV
PO Box 302193
North Harbour Postal Centre
So, I tried calling them directly. They said I should talk to someone at head office... eventually I managed to get through to a nice lady called Jill who took my number and promised to call back within 24 hours with some more details as to what the stumbling block is, and to whom we should address our petition. She's not the right one to post petitions to or phone directly, though, so I won't give her full name so that she doesn't get deluged with stuff.

From what I hear it would be very helpful if as many people as can register this question either on the Prime website, or via phone to one of the numbers above, as they have had "Several queries already...". If you send a letter to the above address, it should probably be addressed to "Director of Communications".

Once I get more info I'll post it. If I don't hear back then I'll let you know...

10-11-2009, 12:22 PM
This is Sky TV Corporate headquarters; address

10 Panorama Road
Mount Wellington
Auckland 1060
I have sent them an email using the link above; here is the text (in case anyone else wants to use the same message or similar...)

Re: Prime TV EPG and TiVo service

I am writing regarding the provisioning of the EPG for the Prime channel in New Zealand to the newly arrived TiVo service.

As you are probably aware, this is a DVR system (similar to MySky) for free-to-air digital channels only. However, it currently has an issue that the program listings for Prime are not available - queries to TiVo all tell us that we need to ask Prime (ie, Sky) about the issue.

I would appreciate some information as to the cause of the omission - is it technical, or political? Can we expect the listings to become available shortly? If not, to whom should the growing TiVo community address a petition requesting publication of this data?

If EPG data is not available to TiVo users, then Prime will only lose out as they will get fewer viewers as people do not know their lineup - and viewers will lose out as they miss seeing new shows they would not formerly have watched (the TiVo will pre-emptively record 'suggestions' from channels with EPG information).

I hope that you will be able to respond with some postive news,


10-11-2009, 02:25 PM
The head office address and phone number are available on Prime's website:

Prime Television Offices

Head Office

SKY Network Television Ltd
10 Panorama Rd
Mt Wellington
PO Box 9059

Ph: +64 9 579-9999
Fax: +64 9 579-8355

11-11-2009, 02:41 PM
Had a reply from Jill at Sky/Prime!

Unfortunately it was just to tell me that the various managers are out on trips and cannot yet be contacted and they are still trying, but props to Jill for keeping me updated. So, I've given my email address and hopefully we'll hear more soon.

If anyone is interested, you can email Target (the consumer show on TV3) on target@clear.net.nz and let them know the situation - enough people reporting it and they may investigate for January when the 2010 series starts.

19-11-2009, 02:13 PM
A further reply from Prime/Sky:

As per discussion with Jill, having our systems run with Tivo would not be possible as Tivo is not compatible with sky. Therefore, information, details and services for both companies will be kept separate at this stage.

Basically, they have weaselled and are pretending I was referring to the Sky Satellite service rather than the Prime digital free-to-air service EPG. I have responded with a further clarification and we can see what comes back...

19-11-2009, 02:50 PM
Sky have now replied with "We cannot update this incident as you have not emailed us from the account it was logged with. Please log in online and update it"

Unfortunately I cannot login online as I dont have a username/password, and I cant register because it says my email address is "Already in the database". I cannot email from my logged email address as it is just a forwarding account for my main account.

Sky seem to be trying to weasel out of this one...

A couple of useful email addresses:

These are for the New Zealand consumer affairs programs Target and Fair Go - they are off for Christmas, but are looking for some new material for the new year. I'm sure they'd love to investigate a rival TV Station :)

24-11-2009, 09:38 AM
Updated response from Sky/Prime:

Prime's listings are not available on TiVo's EPG (electronic programming guide) as at this time TiVo does not measure ratings data. This information is important for a free-to-air broadcaster as we need these ratings to put a value on PRIME's TV commercials.

We expect that this feature could be available in 2012 when we will review this decision at that time.

This seems to me to be an invalid response, since I don't see how Prime would get ratings data if I use a standard Freeview decoder or a TiVo. It makes no difference as they still have no way to tell what I'm watching. Secondly, this did not seem to be an issue to TVNZ and they also broadcast commercials.

In my opinion, this is not a valid reason but merely an excuse for anti-competitive behaviour as they try to prevent TiVo from competing with MySkyHD - and it will backfire as it net result will be that TiVo viewers simply stop watching Prime.

I feel that TiVo users should make as much noise as possible to Sky, and consumers shows like Target and FairGo, so have this brought to light and fixed in less than the 3 years Sky are proposing.

08-03-2010, 05:30 PM
Refer http://skytv.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/skytv.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=893&p_created=1259017555
Seem they must be getting a few queries - answer is now a standard text;

Will Prime's listings be available on TiVo's EPG?

Prime's listings are not available on TiVo's EPG (electronic programming guide) as at this time TiVo does not measure ratings data. This information is important for a free-to-air broadcaster as the ratings are needed to put a value on PRIME's TV commercials.

We expect that this feature could be available in 2012 when we will review this decision at that time.

2012?? Really... I see a Tui billboard...

08-03-2010, 06:16 PM
Of course, no ratings data is gathered if you view Prime on analogue or any other digital decoder, either, so this is a total red herring. Ratings data is gathered by monitoring equipment as a selected sample set of viewers (none of whom use TiVo). Strange how noone else is bothered by this.

16-03-2010, 02:01 PM
I note that Prime have now put an answer on their FAQs page now:

I've submitted a question via their website asking them to review this decision before 2012.

You're right, the more people that query them about it, the sooner we are likely to see change.

16-03-2010, 02:34 PM
I've just heard today that Prime have also ceased to provide an EPG feed for PrimeTV to the University of Auckland's UniSat system (which is effectively a huge scale PVR for students and staff on specific courses to use for recording course material). Fortunately they have some skillful coders who can screen-scrape the info from the Prime TV website instead...

As far as for myself, I've simply stopped watching Prime now as I can't be bothered to go and find a TV guide and set up time-based recordings. There's enough available in the other channels to fill my available time anyway.

17-03-2010, 10:52 AM
As far as for myself, I've simply stopped watching Prime now as I can't be bothered to go and find a TV guide and set up time-based recordings.
You aught to use that UK S1 TiVo you have for sale ;)

17-03-2010, 10:57 AM
If I had sufficient time, I'd be playing with the S1 and so on. However, I have 2 small offpring and another imminent so no free time to play (and precious little to watch TV, hence using a Tivo to maximise the chance of something good being on when I do).

What would be really good would be if there were some way to modify the S3 TiVo to make it grab Prime EPG data from one of the community sites but continue to get all other EPG data from the official source. Since I don't know anything abut the EPG ingest format though I wouldn't know where to start on this one - and see the above comment on availability of free time.

With regard to the University data feed, further investigation reveals the problem is that htey are somehow encrypting the satellite EPG feed that was being used, so the uni cannot read it by their current method and are having to use a new method to obtain it.

27-01-2012, 08:11 AM
I took a look in the online guide today, and was amazed. :D

Prime and MaoriTV EPG data is now available on the TiVo!

It is only a few days in advance rather than the full 2 weeks, but this is still a big win. Finally, I can bother to watch Prime again (and being able to skip the excessive advertising helps, too.

Props to TiVo (and Sky & MaroiTV, I suppose) for getting this working.:o

27-01-2012, 08:38 AM
Good news indeed. Sadly though it makes my Series 1 TiVo a little more reduntant.