Tuesday, February 15, 2005

TVAuckland

In the interests of accuracy I feel that TVNZ should be renamed TVAuckland. I live in Dunedin and am disgusted by the lack of coverage of significant local events in my city and province.

Last Monday (Feb 7) Dunedin suffered a cloudburst which caused major flooding and many millions of dollars worth of damage. The storm was at its height during the 6.00pm news hour. Despite the broadcaster's much-vaunted capabilities there was no 'breaking news' live coverage. The big storm barely rated a mention.

To cap it off, Judy Bailley often turns to the weather presenter and says things like: 'When's it going to stop raining?" It might be raining in Auckland while the weather is fine and sunny in Dunedin. Thanks, TVAuckland.

The irony is Dunedin has a regional television station which, every weeknight, puts to air a half hour news bulletin. I think it is a miracle the way the small team at Channel 9, with a fraction of the resources of TVAuckland, is able to cobble together a very professional bulletin of local news.

Sadly, the Clark government insists on throwing taxpayer money at big TVAuckland despite its massive annual revenue, in excess of 300 million dollars. While little Channel 9 Dunedin receives not one cent.

Steve Draper
Dunedin

32 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunedin's Channel 9 and the other regionals that do news and current affairs treat their viewers with more respect. TVNZ's valuable VHF frequencies currently offer insults from Auckland to the regions. Bust the self satisfied Central Opinion Factory apart and make the frequencies available to the New Zealanders making relevant television in the regions.

The current form of TVNZ is a monument to Muldoonist centralisation. There is now no economic or technical reason for TVNZ to continue to exist in this form. There are any number of reasons why the regions should now be their own gatekeepers. People who live and work in Dunedin should be the ones making decisions about putting Dunedin issues on air. Channel 9 currently does this for about the cost of One's Judy Bailey. Just think what they could do with the revenue that they'd earn with a VHF frequency.

15 February 2005 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Steady tiger. In a round about way, you are suggesting Aucklanders don't have a right to a state subsidy for their self-centredness.

16 February 2005 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Cassandratron said...

The Prisoners of Privilege will never destroy their Cage. The great Beast will ever befoul us with its waste.

16 February 2005 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Greg Stephens said...

Same type of concern in Wellington, although we are slightly better off due to all the political reporters being here. But we have no local station which really sucks

17 February 2005 at 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do I get the feeling that if the Judesta had said, "when is it going to stop raining in Christchurch?" this guy would be quoting South Island vs North Island rainfall statistics instead?

[lights the fuse...]

Auckland is the reason for the rest of the country to exist. If you want to see what NZ would be like without Auckland have a look at Fiji sometime.

[runs to a safe distance and blocks ears....]

21 February 2005 at 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Blog should have one of those "Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Arse Off" icons.

Quote:-"Auckland is the reason for the rest of the country to exist."

No clearer evidence of dumb arrogance than this is needed of the requirement for the regions to have their own voice.

As for Quote:-"runs to a safe distance and blocks ears...."

That's Auckland in a nutshell.

21 February 2005 at 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lighting the fuse boy would be happy to have BBC or CNN or Fox provide news about AK and NZ from offshore somewhere.

21 February 2005 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

channel 9 rocks, they have cow tv.

it's great student tv with walk of shame and stuff, channel 9 shuld be played all over nz! sky only has some crappy thing from invercargil.

23 February 2005 at 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Kimble said...

Auckland IS the reason for the rest of the country to exist, isnt it?

5 Questions

Why does a region NEED to have a voice?

If they do have a NEED for a voice, why does it NEED to be television?

Regional papers and radio shows would surely be enough?

Why should more money be spent (from the central coffers no less) for regional TV?

Why would it be unfair for those in the region to pay for their regions TV?

My suggestion would be to have International and Domestic news completely seperate. That way you will HAVE to go to seperate sources for each and wouldnt rely on one region.

25 February 2005 at 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why does a region NEED to have a voice?"

Quite right. Close down TVNZ altogether.

25 February 2005 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Dave Gee said...

>Why should more money be spent (from the central coffers no less) for regional TV?

The Government used to fund Regional news broadcasts (South Tonight, Mainland Touch, etc)... However, these were ditched in favour of Holmes (now Close Up and Turn off the Lights at 7).

There are 4 long serving local tv stations in the South Island that produce a range of local programming including News, Sports, Lifestyle and Entertainment.

Labour promised in its last election manifesto to fund regional television, however NZ on Air went back on earlier discussions, and decided not to fund local news broadcasts last year.

It wouldn't take a lot of money - Local stations are very efficient machines - they all basically run on the smell of an oily rag, compared to the budgets of network TV. NZ on Air could fund an entire year's worth of local news broadcasts in the South Island (4 stations) for less than $1 million - the cost of a budget drama series, or a single newsreader at State TV.

NZ on Air could also let these stations repeat programmes from the many thousands in their catalogue... TV series and documentaries which have played once on the networks, and have then been left to gather dust on a shelf. You paid for them as taxpayers, but because most had "some contribution" from the networks, noone else can play them - even if the networks themselves never intend to repeat the programmes.

I would agree that there's a very good argument for getting rid of State-owned broadcasting and any form of State-funded programming altogether, but as long as it's in place, "a regional voice" should be high on NZ on Air's consideration list, along with minority interest stuff like Maori TV, ethnic, arts, religious, and "worthy but dull" programming.

26 February 2005 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger Invervegas said...

One News has a well-performing Dunedin bureau. I think Megan and John do a great job, and lord knows they certainly have a nice enough office/newsroom/editbooth to say that they're not at the bottom of the TVNZ priority pile. Personally I think One News is actually fairly balenced... if a Dunedin presence and local break-out didn't exist for them, then chances are you would have seen even less of the Dunedin storms.

27 February 2005 at 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how far advanced the terrestrial digital plans are where regional representation is concerned?

8 March 2005 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TVNZ may not have money for ANY programmes apart from pommie soaps if the following 'Stuff' story is right.

PRIME STARTS TALKS TO POACH CORONATION STREET.
Prime bosses are in talks this week to poach one of arch-rival Television New Zealand's most treasured assets – Coronation St.

Prime has sent chief executive Chris Taylor and programming head Andrew Shaw to the United States to try to clinch the multimillion-dollar deal, which would end a 40-year run on TVNZ.

The ambitious raid on one of the state broadcaster's crown jewels follows Prime poaching star presenter Paul Holmes.

But with millions of dollars in advertising revenue at stake, TVNZ is unlikely to let the soap go easily.

Consistently one of its top-rating shows, Coronation Street pulls more than 620,000 viewers each week.

A 30-second advertisement slot costs between $10,000 and $11,500.

It is understood TVNZ's contract expires in September.

If Prime's bid is successful, some Coronation Street fans will be unable to watch the show, as the network has only 75 per cent coverage of the country.

It commands 5.4 per cent of viewers on average.

A TVNZ insider confirmed the network had to renegotiate the rights from the UK soap's maker, Granada, and expected a decision next week.

A spokeswoman said the state broadcaster was confident of retaining the soap. "We have had a long-term and successful partnership with Granada, and we see no reason why that wouldn't continue."

Mr Taylor refused to comment, but a Prime spokeswoman confirmed that he and Mr Shaw were in Los Angeles, where the deal was being negotiated.

Granada International also refused to comment.

TV3 has also expressed an interest in the show, but insiders suggest the network has less chance of succeeding.

Prime's hopes rest heavily with Mr Shaw, based on his past dealings with Granada while TVNZ's programming boss during the 1990s.

It is understood TVNZ has the last right of renewal, which means it would be told of the highest rival bid and would then have an opportunity to better it.

An industry source said TVNZ had "deep pockets" and would make sure the show did not go elsewhere, leaving Granada as the likely winner.

Prime's move follows an aggressive bid by the channel to boost its audience.

Last year it poached Holmes and Alison Mau from TV One, but its new Paul Holmes has dived in the ratings.

Media commentators say Prime desperately needs "a big-hit" show like Coronation Street to draw viewers and break up TVNZ's viewing monopoly in the 25 to 54-year-old market.

If Prime wins, TVNZ could face a viewers' revolt. Previous tinkering with Coronation Street, which included reducing its screening time in 1995, led to protest action which later saw the plans pulled.

10 March 2005 at 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TVNZ may not have money for ANY programmes apart from pommie soaps if the following 'Stuff' story is right.

PRIME STARTS TALKS TO POACH CORONATION STREET.
Prime bosses are in talks this week to poach one of arch-rival Television New Zealand's most treasured assets – Coronation St.

Prime has sent chief executive Chris Taylor and programming head Andrew Shaw to the United States to try to clinch the multimillion-dollar deal, which would end a 40-year run on TVNZ.

The ambitious raid on one of the state broadcaster's crown jewels follows Prime poaching star presenter Paul Holmes.

But with millions of dollars in advertising revenue at stake, TVNZ is unlikely to let the soap go easily.

Consistently one of its top-rating shows, Coronation Street pulls more than 620,000 viewers each week.

A 30-second advertisement slot costs between $10,000 and $11,500.

It is understood TVNZ's contract expires in September.

If Prime's bid is successful, some Coronation Street fans will be unable to watch the show, as the network has only 75 per cent coverage of the country.

It commands 5.4 per cent of viewers on average.

A TVNZ insider confirmed the network had to renegotiate the rights from the UK soap's maker, Granada, and expected a decision next week.

A spokeswoman said the state broadcaster was confident of retaining the soap. "We have had a long-term and successful partnership with Granada, and we see no reason why that wouldn't continue."

Mr Taylor refused to comment, but a Prime spokeswoman confirmed that he and Mr Shaw were in Los Angeles, where the deal was being negotiated.

Granada International also refused to comment.

TV3 has also expressed an interest in the show, but insiders suggest the network has less chance of succeeding.

Prime's hopes rest heavily with Mr Shaw, based on his past dealings with Granada while TVNZ's programming boss during the 1990s.

It is understood TVNZ has the last right of renewal, which means it would be told of the highest rival bid and would then have an opportunity to better it.

An industry source said TVNZ had "deep pockets" and would make sure the show did not go elsewhere, leaving Granada as the likely winner.

Prime's move follows an aggressive bid by the channel to boost its audience.

Last year it poached Holmes and Alison Mau from TV One, but its new Paul Holmes has dived in the ratings.

Media commentators say Prime desperately needs "a big-hit" show like Coronation Street to draw viewers and break up TVNZ's viewing monopoly in the 25 to 54-year-old market.

If Prime wins, TVNZ could face a viewers' revolt. Previous tinkering with Coronation Street, which included reducing its screening time in 1995, led to protest action which later saw the plans pulled.

10 March 2005 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TVNZ has two full-time reporters in Dunedin, one full-time cameraman, two stringers and a full time editor. Tv3 has one reporter and one camera/editor. Prime has none. What's more, having worked in regional tv I can say there is nothing to do with 'treating viewers with respect'.. it's all about keeping the advertisers happy just as with any other commercial enterprise.

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