Watch Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves pull the lever which began the transmission of TV3 on 27 November 1989. TV3 was the first privately owned television channel and it was quickly followed the next year by Sky TV. The arrival of these two broadcasters followed the deregulation of the broadcasting sector and the establishment of Television New Zealand as a state-owned enterprise. At the same time, in 1989, a new agency which came to be called NZ On Air was established to provide government funding for public-interest programmes. TV3 and TVNZ were both able to apply for funds.
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