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World Cup TV fiasco

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, March 4th, 2010 - 17 comments
Categories: sport, tv - Tags: , , , , ,

How’s this for insanity: the finals in the World Cup will be broadcast live on four free to air channels (TV1, TV3, Maori TV in English and Maori TV in Maori) as well as Sky. That’s pretty much the definition of overkill and it has got to have cost a bomb, thanks to the Government’s disastrous handling of the issue.

How much is this circus costing us? Last we heard the Government was putting money into TVNZ and Maori TV’s competing bids. Pita Sharples had allocated money from TPK to Maori TV for the bid (which he had no right to do) and Gerry Brownlee had backed a counter-bid from TVNZ. It was allowed to happen because the Prime Minister wasn’t doing his job, too busy with photo shoots.

The competing government-funded bids raised the price of the rights and you can bet that the IRB didn’t just decide to let the eventual consortium (or clusterfuck, as the yanks would call it) of channels have rights to broadcast on extra channels for free.

The Government won’t tell us the total price of the rights to broadcast the same games on multiple free-to-air channels simultaneously but we know that the Government alone spent $3.2 million – $200,000 per game – and there’s the price paid by TVNZ, Maori TV, and TV3 on top of that.

If this had been handled properly from the start – i.e. if John Key had stopped his ministers acting like idiots – then there would be free-to-air games on one channel and the IRB wouldn’t be laughing all the way to the bank. Instead, we had more over-promises, under-delivery from the Key government that says everything will be great but then doesn’t do anything and leaves us with a mess at the end.

Oh, and pity anyone without Sky who wants to watch anything other than rugby on TV those nights.

17 comments on “World Cup TV fiasco”

  1. I would love to see the business plan put together by TPK when they first made their bid. They must have relied on exclusivity giving them market penetration and exposure for Te Reo. With all the other channels now showing the rugby their business case must have been shot full of holes.

    My redneck alerter went on high when this news first broke.

    • weizguy 1.1

      I’m pretty sure it’s on teh interwebs somewhere. I recall reading it.

      “With all the other channels now showing the rugby their business case must have been shot full of holes.”

      It was dire. It was shot full of holes before the current deal was negotiated.

  2. blinded by the right 2

    Because TV2, Prime, and C4 will suddenly stop working due to the rugby? Along with the Freeview channels?

  3. Neil 3

    $3 mil to ensure live free to air doesn’t sound all that expensive. lots more taxpayer money is being spent on the RWC in other areas such as stadiums. Ensuring people can at least watch for free seems only reasonable.

    Would the govt buying the rights for the exclusive use of just one channel be all that equitable?

  4. It really shows who runs this freakin country.

    Millions spent on a sport that is basically non existent outside of New Zealand.

    Whats next?

    $50 million spent on boat racing?

  5. Santi 5

    I would put the blame for this fiasco on the Maori Party (Pita Sharples) and the lazy Prime Minister John Key.

    By the way, what does Key do?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      what does Key do?

      Tries to distract from the corruption of his government and who owns them?

  6. Mike 6

    Will the government be ensuring the All Whites games at the real World Cup are shown on free-to-air rather than just Sky as is currently planned?

  7. tc 7

    Is anyone keeping a tab on how much WC2011 is going to end up costing and divide it into the ratepayer/taxpayer split.

    Rugby’s a minor global sport in decline as a result of the amateurs who run it….Tew/Moller/Hobbs/Dalton the list is endless and a reflection of jobs for the boyz rather than professional sports managers who can expand the sport sustainably.

    It’s legacy will be interesting as I can’t see it justifying its price tag by magically boosting our tourism…..most of the world don’t give an F about rugby nor does anyone who wants entertainment…..look another stoppage….is that a temporary rule/an experimental rule/a new rule/an old rule now back as a new rule…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  8. Red Rosa 8

    Another fiasco from the larrikin schoolboy Minister Jonathan Coleman.

    No sooner had the cigar smoke cleared, than he bumbled into this one!

    I think we have to give JK credit for at least partially sorting the mess.

    But where are the numbers? What exactly is the good old taxpayer up for this time?

  9. The proliferation of channels was always going to lead to the problem of finding something to fill them with. The solutions these days seem to be: show the same thing on various channels (pray tell what the difference will be between watching the rugby on TVNZ or Sky or MTS?); do endless repeats (cue most Sky channels); or create fake extra digital channels (TV3+1).

    The future of TV lies in offering real choice and diversity and only a handful of channels achieve that (even without massive Government subsidies)

    Captcha: images

  10. tc 10

    Uroskin that’s crazy talk……taxpayers money will be fought between making NZ versions of tired overseas formats (celebrity pretend wannabe strip sex snooker darts on ice)/crap dramas (go girls, burying brian) and self serving ‘documentaries’ like ‘where are they now’ or depressing rehashes of our darkest moments…anything Latta fronts it seems.

    TVNZ should be sold while it has some value……before recycling Rick puts it through the floor.

  11. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    What i want to know is- which channel will they be using on the big screen at Party Central? Maybe they can show 1/4 of the match on each channel.

  12. tc 12

    ZB….it’ll be Sky as they have a policy of no adverse comments about the game/NZRU/IRB/Super whatever the number is etc…..rosy tinted glasses at all times.

    Mexted’s just returned from his sin binning for being honest…..woah enough of that Mo, you’re off son.

  13. I am indifferent. I have no interest in rugby in any shape, colour or code let alone an entire world cup of it and as I prefer intelligent, informative TV never watch Sky Sport, TV3 or Maori TV and very rarely watch TV1 anyway. In fact I rarely get to watch TV in New Zealand at all.
    Regrettably sport in general and rugby in New Zealand in particular is an easy, cheap and undemanding way of delivering to purveyors of trash large numbers of eye-balls attached to dumbed-down, uncritical, easily-entertained brains so it’s hardly surprising the flim-flam artists in charge of TV would prostitute their daughters for their share. However only in New Zealand could they be as blatant about it.

    “Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt” – Juvenal commentating on the plebs in his Satires lamenting the slide of the Roman Republic into dictatorship, and proving that nothing changes.

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