Sky TV launched New Zealand's first digital TV service in December 1998 and had a monopoly on digital satellite TV until the launch of Freeview in 2007.
Digital cable television currently operates in Wellington and Christchurch on TelstraClear's cable TV system.
It was announced on June 15, 2006 that Freeview's free-to-air digital TV service would be available via satellite (DVB-S) from mid-2007 and terrestrial transmissions (DVB-T) from mid-2008. Freeview's marketing campaign began on April 23, 2007 through a website and four TV advertisements shown on Freeview's shareholders' TV channels, using the slogan "Make bad reception a thing of the past", showing people using proverbial substitutes for rabbit ears for receiving TV reception.
Freeview's satellite service began on May 2, 2007. Initially, there were five television channels: TV One, TV2, TV3, C4, and Maori Television. Freeview's first digital-only channel, a temporary channel from TVNZ, began on May 18, 2007, providing coverage of the V8 Supercar racing.
The Freeview terrestrial service, named Freeview|HD, official launched on April 14, 2008. The service currently serves areas surrounding Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin.