Maori TV

February 24th, 2012 at 3:58 pm by David Farrar

has in many ways been a success story. They have managed to avoid the culture of excess that their predecessor Aotearoa TV had. They have managed to capture ANZAC Day in a way no other broadcaster has. They had some of the best debates in the election campaign, and I understand their election night coverage was very good. Native Affairs is a must watch show for those interested in politics, and they had great Rugby World Cup coverage.

But there is one big elephant in the room. The elephant is that almost nobody is watching them. And when we invest $50 million a year into them, it is an elephant that should not be ignored.

Generally broadcasters who have very small audiences use figures such as weekly cumulative, monthly cumulative or even annual cumulative. This means that if you watch one show for 10 minutes in a month, you are counted as a viewer. I do not find these stats very useful or informative.

There are two stats which give a far better idea of how a channel and how a programme is doing. The first is the AUD% which is how many people out of the approx 4 million 5+ NZers watched a show. From that AUD% figure you can work out how many people were tuned in at a particular time.

The RWC Final against France in October had the highest AUD% ever – around 50%. One News typically is at around 13% and Shortland Street around 12%. The Prime Evening News is around 4%.

The other figure is SHR%. This is the percentage of people watching television (including Sky) at that pont in time – so effectively the market share. So outside of prime time, the AUD% will be lower, but the SHR% may stay the same.

Now I have an extract of the Neilsen data for earlier this week. Here is the AUD% and SHR% data for Maori TV for prime time for the half hour spots starting at the times shown:

  • 6.30 pm – 0.0% and 0.0%
  • 7.00 pm – 0.0% and 0.1%
  • 7.30 pm – 0.1% and 0.2%
  • 8.00 pm – 0.0% and 0.0%
  • 8.30 pm – 0.0% and 0.1%
  • 9.00 pm – 0.0% and 0.1%
  • 9.30 pm – 0.0% and 0.0%
  • 10.00 pm – 0.1% and 0.5%

A 0.1% AUD means around 4,000 people were tuned in. A 0.1% SHR means only 1 in 1,000 people watching TV during that half hour, were watching Maori TV.

This was Wednesday this week. Yesterday was a but better with one show getting a 0.7% audience at its peak and a 0.5% audience overall, which was 19,100 viewers.

But in my opinion that isn’t good enough, for the investment that the taxpayer puts in. Especially when you consider 15% of New Zealanders are Maori (not that it is for Maori only – I watch several shows on it).

This post isn’t to knock Maori TV. As I said at the beginning I think they do some great stuff, and they should be applauded for it. But they do need to do something about their viewer stats, rather than rely on the false comfort of cumulative stats.

I was hoping that after the RWC, Maori TV would rate better. Part of the idea of their hosting bid, was to get people used to tuning into Maori TV. And it did work for the RWC. Since then though, people have gone back to not tuning in.

I don’t have the magic solution for increasing ratings. If I did, I’d be rich. But it is a shame to see $50 million being spent on a channel which produces some really good programmes, but gets viewed by so few people. It is good to have a quality public broadcaster, but it would be better to have one that was watched regularly by more than 0.1% of the population.

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48 Responses to “Maori TV”

  1. gazzmaniac (2,266 comments) says:

    I have a solution for increasing ratings. It is quality programming that people want to watch.

    [DPF: That is part of it. But channel loyalty is also part of it. So is marketing. So is having your staff appear in womens mags. Not saying they should do that, but it is more than just programming]

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  2. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    They have excellent foreign docos and movies. I watch them.

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  3. kowtow (6,694 comments) says:

    So they will gut a government department (Mfat) to save $20 to 25 million a year but will continue to spend twice that on a tv station that no one watches…………hmmmmmm………..

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  4. decanker (220 comments) says:

    Merge Maori TV with TVNZ7, RNZ, and TVNZ online; broadcast on one tv station, one radio station and online; dump the commercial tv1 and 2 to whoever wants them.

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  5. insider (990 comments) says:

    The good rating on Thursday is probably for the NBA game they show. I can’t be the only one watching…

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  6. davidp (3,319 comments) says:

    Say 1 million people are watching TV in the evenings, then 1/1000th of that is a viewership of 1000 people. For $50million a year it’d be cheaper to give each of them a new car every year as long as they didn’t complain if the channel was shut down.

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  7. Daigotsu (445 comments) says:

    Maybe there’s a connection between the quality of their programs and their viewing audience? To wit maybe what viewers want just isn’t what you consider “good stuff” DPF?

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  8. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    Generally broadcasters who have very small audiences use figures such as weekly cumulative, monthly cumulative or even annual cumulative.

    No-one uses a “weekly cumulative”, the measure just doesn’t exist.

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  9. BeaB (1,947 comments) says:

    It’s like TV7 and all the other so-called quality TV. We dont want to watch and I for one dont want to fork out for the half dozen or so that do.
    Thats the great advantage of Sky. I can watch what I want when I want and dont have to be dictated to by a bunch of we-know-what’s-best-for -yous. And these tinpot dictators aren’ t only Lefties.

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  10. EverlastingFire (290 comments) says:

    It’s a failure and waste of money. Key won’t get rid of it, though. He’s too busy pandering to the racists and doesn’t want to upset them.

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  11. Longknives (4,047 comments) says:

    I remember channel surfing one night (primetime-about 8pm) and coming across Maori Television- They were playing Mr Ed (Well Heloooo Wilbur), overdubbed into Maori….
    Just give us the fucking 50 million a year back please.

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  12. nasska (9,501 comments) says:

    Maori TV are better & certainly no worse than TV 1,2 or 3. They are simply victim to the PC policy of ramming Maori culture & Maori viewpoints down everybody’s throats. Ordinary people are sick to death of hakas, powhiri, hui & the rest of the crap.

    Who is going to come home from a day at work or school where you couldn’t get five minutes respite without some arsehole quoting the “Treaty” & voluntarily watch more of the propaganda?

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  13. Manolo (12,622 comments) says:

    Giving the low number of viewers let Maori TV compete for funds and go broke, if it fails to do so.
    Many of us are sick and tired of propping losing-money entities like this one on the basis of “multiculturalism”.

    It’s a pity neither Key nor English will have the balls to cut it loose. They have aligned themselves with the racist bunch, the Maori Party.

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  14. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Jesus Christ, $50,000,000 for 4000 viewers? $12,500 per viewer! FUCK THAT. Pull the plug. Pull it now!

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  15. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    decanker (161) Says: “Merge Maori TV with TVNZ7, RNZ, and TVNZ online; broadcast on one tv station, one radio station and online; dump the commercial tv1 and 2 to whoever wants them.”

    Yep.

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  16. mavxp (490 comments) says:

    Change the “frequencies” (yes I know it is digital now) and the names.

    Make TV7 & Maori content the new TV1.
    Let TV2 be the advert driven channel, and any additional content can be moved out further beyond TV3, C4, Prime etc. to the nether regions where TV7 and Maori are currently.

    If we want public content and own the broadcasting bandwidth, then lets claim prime position that was developed in the mindshare of viewers over the last 40 years or so. If we keep advert driven channels in public ownership then let the revenue cover the cost of the public good content on the prime viewing channel (TV1), or sell them. Whatever works.

    The main benefit I see is decent news and current affairs reporting on OneNews. No sensationalist BS reporting, no tabloid current affairs shows (Close-up). Shift the ‘Winston effect’ of politicians working the media, and journos milking non-event stories to those advert driven channels only. Hard News, Analysis, Penetrating Interviews, Debate. Let the TV3′s of this world raise their game or be shown up.

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  17. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Tv
    Yesterdays media
    On demand over the web coming soon
    5 years?

    Racist TV channel close it down
    As with all racist bullshit a waste of time, effort and money.

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  18. dime (8,752 comments) says:

    I would never tune into a tv station based on race. It’s not like it’s some premium expat channel. We are all kiwis.

    I’m not alone either. None of my buddies would watch it either. As others have said, sometimes it’s nice to be entertained without enduring all the pc/cultural shit.

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  19. thor42 (770 comments) says:

    Shut the thing down. It’s a complete waste of money.
    Maori have got more than enough money now for them to run the thing themselves without a cent of taxpayers’ money.

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  20. reid (15,531 comments) says:

    I think Maori TV is part of Maori mana. They need a voice in the media and this is it, together with the 5 min Maori news segments on Radio Left Wing. But apart from that what else do they have, exclusively what they could justifiably call, their own? Nothing.

    However, Maori need to be told that if we fund them a voice, they have to show they support it, otherwise we’ll take it away.

    $50m p.a. is not trivial. This is $6m more than we just trimmed from MFAT which has a far far superior cost-benefit case in terms of what it gives to the whole nation, not just to 15% of it.

    So this message needs to be put to Maori: either watch it, or it goes. Simple as that. This doesn’t mean we will take it away. It means that just as they, rightly, demand respect from the 85% of us who aren’t Maori and we respond to their call via what we’ve done by setting this up, so they have to give the 85% respect, by responding to our generosity accordingly. If they can’t be arsed doing that, then why should we bother?

    Simple as that, really.

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  21. Dick Gozinya (19 comments) says:

    Just merge Maori TV with E-channel and call it Maor-E

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  22. V (660 comments) says:

    Merge TVNZ7+ Maori, so the educational/doco new content can be screened on the new merged channel, or perhaps entice SBS to broadcast (legally) into NZ and become a content provider.

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  23. swan (651 comments) says:

    Yeah it’s hard to understand why they are shutting down 7 but not maori tv, when 7 is getting better bang for buck

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  24. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    Racist and a waste of money. Whenever Ive had the misfortune of clicking onto it its usually closed down. 50 mill down the shitter. Pfft. Easy to waste other peoples money eh Key.

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  25. Dazzaman (1,114 comments) says:

    For the free to air channels it’s just about the best to watch. Some excellent doco’s, movies, etc.

    The figures must be out of whack, a large percentage of the people I know watch it…..or sky. Channel’s 2 & 4 are far bigger sink holes.

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  26. graham (2,211 comments) says:

    Just curious, does anyone know how much “Maori” broadcasting there is? I can think of Maori TV, Radio Waatea, and I think Radio Waatea is part of a nationwide loose organisation of Maori radio stations. I also recall Willie Jackson complaining about something a few months ago; from memory it was a drop in funding to promote Maori radio on National radio, or something.

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  27. Inky_the_Red (718 comments) says:

    maybe the way the stats are measured (350 households) is not very good

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  28. Pete George (21,806 comments) says:

    Yeah it’s hard to understand why they are shutting down 7 but not maori tv, when 7 is getting better bang for buck

    Or they could combine the best of both.

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  29. wreck1080 (3,522 comments) says:

    Maori tv is one of those dead rats you have to swallow to keep them from moaning.

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  30. mikenmild (8,786 comments) says:

    Between Maori TV and TVNZ we get the only NZ TV worth watching consistently. I’d have no problem with a genuine public broadcaster, maybe incorporating radio along the old NZBC model.

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  31. Anthony (736 comments) says:

    It should be turned into an internet TV channel with consequently much lower costs – and the viewership could hardly go down could it?

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  32. Kokila Patel (11 comments) says:

    There are dedicated Chinese and Korean digital channels available on Freeview. I don’t understand how and to what level these channels get funded. It demonstrates that it is possible for niche channels to exist in NZ? Does it all really need to cost $50 million?

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  33. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    I believe that is why they bought the rights to the RWC. However in a bout of Xenophobia or whatever that bid was undermined at a huge cost to the tax payer.

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  34. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    Easy to solve. Just stop government funding ALL media. If people want to watch let them pay with their own money or time (watching ads). Ditto the arts, NZSO and all the other precious “cultural” spending. dont make it about maori, think rationally about spending other people’s money and just dont

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  35. mikenmild (8,786 comments) says:

    Well,if you want to go down that track, one should rationally advocate for ending pretty much all central and local government spending. It all depends whether you see it as spending other people’s money or collectively buying things of value for a community. Obviously, most people prefer the latter approach.

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  36. jakejakejake (128 comments) says:

    On TVNZ channels they play those ads about what is on their other channels. Why not make them include Maori TV?

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  37. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    “Why not make them include Maori TV?”

    Yeah, because if spending $50m a year isnt enough to get people to watch we should spend more money?

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  38. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    I watch some sports on it. Sometimes the rugby commentaries (in English) are way better than the Sky commentaries. Basketball coverage was good. Other than that – Mr Ed I had trouble with in English, let alone Maori.

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  39. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    I watch the Maori Channel as the quality of the documentaries outstrips TV1,2 or 3.

    The Hunting Program with Howie Morrison is great, I guess the Maori Channel is for more sophisticated people with a higher IQ and an understanding of NZ Culture and world wide view of life.

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  40. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    “I guess the Maori Channel is for more sophisticated people with a higher IQ and an understanding of NZ Culture and world wide view of life.”

    ..yes , yes spot on ole’ chap , much more sophisticated.. maori television. Lets see how it copes in the real world without 50 mill a year to fall back on. Straight down the shit house. Economics 101…no viewers..no advertising revenue=finished.
    As someone else here noted..its just a dead rat to swallow .. keep the natives happy. ( “OMG he said the N word!”)

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  41. mikenmild (8,786 comments) says:

    We have a long tradition of providing cultural, recreational and intellectual amenities at public expense. Long may that continue.

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  42. Mark (496 comments) says:

    Stop giving them 50 million a year and tell them to stand on thier own 2 feet.

    Then they might deliever stuff people want to watch, otherwise close them down and do more Maori programming on TV1.

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  43. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Fifty million dollar subsidy, nobody watching, and Farrar is all “I don’t know what to dooooo!”

    *FACEPALM*

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  44. Anthony (736 comments) says:

    If the programs are so good put them on the internet and make people like mikenmild pay per view – maybe 50cents a time. If he really values them then he should be prepared to pay! Otherwise why should my tax money go to pay for programming that very, very few people actually watch – how is that for the common good?

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  45. Paulus (2,296 comments) says:

    See if they can takeover TV3 – particularly TV3′s so called political movement.
    I would prefer Maori TV to G’arner and pretty boy Toofy any day.

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  46. Tautaioleua (266 comments) says:

    Give the Chief Executive and his team an ultimatum – you have the rest of twenty twelve to increase your ratings – if they continue to drizzle out we will remove all funding from your sorry excuse for QUALITY TELEVISION.

    Yours Sincerely

    The New Zealand Tax Payers Association.

    :P

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  47. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Deep in their heart most New Zealanders – and that includes a lot of maori – detest anything racist, especially something tries to force the cultural views of one group onto another.

    If maori really wanted Maori TV there would be a 10 -15% viewing number.

    Now that sometime idiot Palmer is the guy behind a lot of the trouble we now have with the treaty – he was the one thought that open phrases like ‘the principles of the treaty’ would mean nothing but its developed into one of this countires biggest money wasting industries.

    The 50mill should be incorporated into Te Puni corkory (or what ever its called) as part of their budget – and let them decided which cause is best – not added to but as part of their current budget.

    The quality of the programming has little to do with it – its image of it being a racist outfit. Lets face it, if good products would make ‘things’ more popular – or bad products less popular – then the communists in Russia would never have got going and Hitler would have been pretty acceptable (until he started blaming the jews – which wouldnt actaully have been all that unpopular in europe at the time.)

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  48. kimblebent (1 comment) says:

    Rakuraku sums it up. Maori tv is consistently producing programmes that inform, educate and challenge. In short, the best television being produced in the country today is by maori television.
    As is always the case with Kiwis. They dont realise how good we have it here. Instead of dissing Maori why dont you lot actually take advantage of the incredible facility and opportunity you have been blessed with here and actually try and ‘learn’ te reo. There is absolutely no excuse any more, just a lack of will. It makes me sad to be honest that so few kiwis, maori and pakeha, Are taking advantage of this truly special and indeed, unique, service.
    This is the best country in the world by far people. Start appreciating it.

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