Will Backbenches be saved?

July 6th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

John Drinnan writes at NZ Herald:

Plans for to make Back Benches for Prime TV will deliver good public relations results all round and a pleasing result for the show’s loyal audience.

The politics programme, which is one of the last vestiges of television in Wellington, has screened on TVNZ 7 until it was discontinued last week.

It does not fit with TVNZ’s aims of making profit at all costs, so TVNZ is not interested in picking up the niche-interest show for TV One.

Prime TV is prepared to run a weekly 10.30pm show – a time when it should not be too encumbered with advertising.

So now TVNZ, which owns the intellectual property, has sought taxpayer funding from New Zealand On Air to make the show in-house and sell it to Prime.

This is a win-win-win. Worthy souls will applaud the survival of Back Benches. TVNZ and New Zealand On Air will do something to keep the legacy alive.

NZ on Air has to agree to the funding request, but I certainly hope they do.

As I understand it the bid is a co-operative exercise between TVNZ and Sky, and it would probably also show on a TVNZ channel at a delayed time spot.

The good thing is this bid, if successful, will open up viewership to a potentially much larger audience than had.

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10 Responses to “Will Backbenches be saved?”

  1. Mighty_Kites (84 comments) says:

    Not a fan of the proposed 10:30pm time-slot though, too late for a show like this I think

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  2. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    I won’t stay up to watch it at 10.30 pm, but that’s beter than nothing, especially if delayed time spot is reasonable, and/or it’s available online on-demand.

    I hardly ever watch The Nation live, I don’t want to stuff up Saturday morning with TV, and it’s convenient to wait for a Sunday morning smorgasboard of politics.

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  3. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “This is a win-win-win. Worthy souls will applaud the survival of Back Benches. ”

    So those of us who would rather NOT pay for your viewing pleasure are unworthy souls?

    A win-win-win would be a commercial organisation putting its own money into a TV show. Forceably extracting money from your neighbours to fund your own enjoyment should be seen as immoral.

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  4. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Surely a better option would be for Prime TV to purchase the IP for the show from TVNZ and use its own funds to produce the programme? Sky TV has deep enough pockets to fund it, if it is at all interested.

    This smacks a little of Prime TV being magnanimous in freeing up a very late slot if someone else will pay them to produce and play the show.

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  5. Daigotsu (458 comments) says:

    I never liked it. Just a bully pulpit for leftists.

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  6. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Park the broadcast van in the carpark at the Alehouse next time please.

    NOT blocking half of Tinakori Road right at the height of rush hour thanks.

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  7. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    The few I saw that hadn’t filled the pub up with a rent-a-crowd were quite good.

    The episodes with the clearly orchestrated one-eyed audience kinda sucked, which I when I stopped watching it. If I wanted to go to a union meeting, I’d join a union.

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  8. Mike Readman (363 comments) says:

    How can you say I hope NZ On Air funds it? I thought you were a libertarian!

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  9. Steve (North Shore) (4,563 comments) says:

    Backbenches yeah! The place where you see lefties who think they have a sense of humour, but when called out they prove they are still the Nasty Party

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  10. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    Who cares?

    Programme was crap

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