With a licence that covered all major towns and cities on the UHF signal, except for Gisborne which is served via VHF signal, Prime Television New Zealand began broadcasting on 30 August 1998.
In February 2002, Prime NZ entered into a five-year agreement with PBL Media, then owner of Australia's Nine Network.
On 8 February 2006, Prime New Zealand was purchased by Sky Television from Australian-based Prime Television. In 2010, Prime HD was temproarily launched on Sky Channel 140 to cover the 2010 Winter Olympics. Prime HD would only be available every Olympics or Commonwealth Games on channel 444.
On 13 January 2016, Prime underwent a brand refresh and began broadcasting permanently in high definition. Prime was made available in HD to Freeview DTT viewers on 2 December 2019.
On 1 February 2017, Prime Plus 1 began transmission as a time-shift channel. It is available on Sky channel 514 or can be manually tuned on free-to-air satellite-signal receivers.
Television channels in New Zealand
| TVNZ 1 | TVNZ 2 | Three | Bravo | Prime
| Sky Network channels|
Prime (+1) | Sky Box Office