Public Broadcasting Downer

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 4 comments
Categories: tv - Tags: , , ,

I had hoped to be posting lighter Merry Christmas fare, but the government keeps rolling out its agenda under the cover of Christmas consumerism.

So it is that we have TV6 to lose its commercial-free status, and our large amount of quality pre-school and family programming will be gone.  Instead we have 2 hours of pre-school programming wedged into TV7.  A helpful service to many young families is lost; no more safe cartoons and shows without constant peppering to purchase products.

Of course it was already a shame that they hadn’t been able to keep up with their original intent and have their general family tv a little earlier and the wonderful showcase in the evening for quality viewing – it was a bit pointless having family viewing late at night.  But I guess we don’t see quality programming as a priority (witness TVNZ’s main channels obsession with “reality TV” – not like any reality I know…).

I don’t hold out much hope for quality in the new youf channel to replace it either.  With TVNZ’s quote on the new direction being: “MTV has closed its New Zealand operations and C4 is changing to an older skewed channel so there is an audience and advertisers who want to talk with them”, it seems more a revenue gathering exercise rather than for the benefit of our young.  They are after all consumers first and foremost in the National mindset, not emerging adults who should be nurtured and grown to their potential.

TV7 will become a bit of a muddle as it loses its focus and tries to do too much, and its funding is still not sorted beyond March 2012.  It is currently the best of our public broadcasting and must not be allowed to be run down and lost.

I wish for the day that we have a government that understands the importance of an educated, informed populace, and the role public broadcasting plays in that.  Maybe then we could get a broadcaster with a chartered mission statement as that of the BBC and PBS: Inform, Educate, Entertain.

4 comments on “Public Broadcasting Downer”

  1. Tigger 1

    Here’s a solve for the future.

    The best move is to swap TVNZ7 with TV One – TVNZ7 moves o the #1 slot on the remote – so it becomes TVOne and has pride of place since it is ‘our’ channel. The reinvigorated TVNZ7 (it is now a hybrid of its current look and best of TV One – with all TV One’s public broadcasting content, news, current affairs on it along with top-quality overseas fare).

    This new look TVNZ7 is relatively ad-free (doubt you’ll get it fully ad-free AND move it to the top of dial) but it mostly paid for by profits from TV2 which stays where it is and the new 6 and 7 (which of course is the old TV One but marketed entirely as a commerical channel).

    Why should the public broadcaster be top of dial? Because (a) anywhere else and it will die and (b) it is our channel, reflects us and deserves pride of place. Ultimately it will be the channel with the most local content on it – every other channel on the dial will end up chasing a bunch of similar shows, mostly overseas-sourced.

  2. john 2

    My 2 year old loves tvnz6 🙁

  3. Jan 3

    I agree – I think the last 2 years of TVNZ 7 will come to be regarded as a bit of a relative golden age of TV in New Zealand with a number of experimental and informative programmes Media Watch, Internet debates, an hour of news,even Back Benches. (Perhaps even more so because of who it has not been necesary to endure (Holmes, Henry, Sainsbury et atl ;-). Selling the rights “
    ” for 6 and 7 which effectively put a halt to the development of a widely available free access digital plaform in return for providing the content to Sky subscribers – should at the very least have ensured the ongoing sustainability of the new channels.

    (captcha repeats)

    • Carol 3.1

      Support Triangle. They are going onto Freeview terrestrial in March:

      I watch them most days, and usually give a donation when they do their yearly donation drive. They have a good range of news programmes and some current events shows (Bomber Bradbury, Beatson interviews).

      I think with the fragmentation of the media, low subscriptions and donation-supported channels will be a valuable part of community channels.

      However, I also think there should be state, public service channels. I’m sorry they’re changing the TVNZ6 &7 briefs and not going in the direction they began. I watch TVNZ7 a bit too.

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