Another TVNZ channel closes

July 30th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

TVNZ is planning to shut down youth channel TVNZ U, which failed to work financially.

The vacated frequency will be used to screen TV2 programmes an hour after they appear on the main channel.

TVNZ said it had made a commercial decision to take TVNZ U off air at the end of August, after the free-to-air channel had run at a loss for two years.

“Despite our best efforts, we’ve not been able to make it work financially,” TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick said.

“As it is, the channel is a very lean operation and no significant savings can be made to address the shortfall.”

In other words, no one was watching it and it could generate not even minimal revenue.

It is a pity the Government hasn’t sold TVNZ while it might get some money for it. It’s long-term prognosis is not good, as the money will be in production or distribution – not in channels.

I would have loved the Government to sell TVNZ and use the proceeds as capital for a public service broadcaster, merged with Radio NZ.

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20 Responses to “Another TVNZ channel closes”

  1. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    Last I checked, they were running a title card until noon. So they decided that, rather than keeping the old kidzone content (which is now on sky) on the channel in the mornings, they’d be better off running nothing instead.

    Then there’s the title, blatantly feeding into generation narcissism. And the fact there are already plenty of channels feeding that market. Sorry, who on earth thought this was going to work?

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  2. JeffW (323 comments) says:

    Personally, I would like Government to get out of broadcasting entirely.
    And I am not sure that it is worthwhile to re-screen TV2. Is there anything on this channel worth watching first time round?
    If TV One and TV2 were to save energy and only broadcast programmes worth watching, they would only be on a for a combined hour a day I estimate. Programmers should admit when they have no idea what to put on, and offer a blank screen – more enlightening than most of what they show.

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  3. Redbaiter (7,865 comments) says:

    TV is over.

    Its a wasteland, and its only purpose is to broadcast prog propaganda for the self appointed elite “ruling class.”

    Turn it off.

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  4. Peter (1,653 comments) says:

    TV channels are over.

    Dead.

    Finished.

    Present and future is all content on-demand.

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  5. peterwn (3,194 comments) says:

    Running three ‘+1′ channels is a blatant waste of bandwidth. Why not market a ‘+n’ box where the viewer can view the channels up to say 3 hours later.

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  6. Yvette (2,739 comments) says:

    What does it tell you, when for a lot of people the news that TVNZ is shutting down a channel is the first time you have heard of it – especially when apparently it have been running for more than two years.

    A basic prerequisite to viewing a channel would be to know it existed

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  7. wreck1080 (3,787 comments) says:

    When will the government face up to the fact that a combined profit/public model just does not work!!

    Content distribution is rapidly changing and TV as we know it is going the way of the dinosaurs.

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  8. Grendel (966 comments) says:

    good, while it has had some good music and on those occasions when you need a brain melt its usually playing some banal reality show, in essence it was a green party propaganda department.

    more than once i was watching and you would have some hipster with his hippy scarf on waxing lyrical about stuff they had no idea about.

    they once had someone one talking about the asset sales protests and while they threw out some lame “well lets not get political” they did just that, they all admitted to being against asset sales and then their ‘expert’ had the gall to say, “look you know, the evidence is that it has not worked anywhere in the world”.

    recently they had Jamie Lee Ross on talking about something, and they were grilling him about the welfare changes, and he rightly said do you want to pay more taxes so others can choose not to work, at which point the numpties on the show said yes, becuase of course in their little world, there are no such things as consequences.

    BTW asking a lefty if they are ok paying more tax is the wrong question, they always are (though never seem to willingly pay more tax, they are just ok paying more if you are forced to). the better question to ask if you have to discuss with them is why do you think you have the right to take more money from hardworking families to give to someone else who may be capable of working but not bothering to look.

    anyway, glad its over, the smug hosts can finally see what real work is like.

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  9. davidp (3,551 comments) says:

    Peter>Present and future is all content on-demand.

    Completely agree. Channels are a way of bundling content and streaming that content in a sequential manner. We could replace them with a web site. Or if NZ On Air wants to distribute NZ content widely then they could open source it and make it available via BitTorrent.

    Owning a TV channel is about as relevant as owning a postal service or a travel agent.

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  10. CJPhoto (218 comments) says:

    The least TVNZ could do is use these +1 channels (they now have two) for live events. They have the rights to the Americas Cup races but only show small snippets on Breakfast. Why not override the One+1 channel so we can watch it live on TV rather than streamed through our computers.

    Tehy even could have shown live coverage of the wait for the royal baby – that would have generated huge advertising revenues compared to U for nothing more than the cost of a web cam.

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  11. F E Smith (3,314 comments) says:

    Personally, I would like Government to get out of broadcasting entirely.

    This.  There is no place for government to be competing with private enterprise in this area.  Sell it, and Radio NZ as well.

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  12. duggledog (1,417 comments) says:

    While we’re about it can someone switch off that great monument to Helen Clark’s wasteful spending: Maori TV.

    50 million a year for a channel (bribe) that virtually nobody watches – in fact DPF said if I recall correctly it would be cheaper to buy every viewer a new mini car every two years.

    But no that would be Racist. They should fund it with their own money.

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  13. mikenmild (11,234 comments) says:

    IIRC DPF (or was it the broadcasting minister?) played a trick or two with those Maori TV viewing numbers.

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  14. duggledog (1,417 comments) says:

    BTW let’s not completely ignore the fact that TVNZ is still profitable and returns a small divvy to the Government. Unlike some others Too late to sell it now. Quite a few people still watch free to air TV believe it or not. Sky’s not that awesome and it’s the first bill you’d want to chop off the weekly budget if times are tight.

    They should have sold the whole shooting match and like DPF says whack it all together with RNZ. I’d say into Avalon. Closer to Wgtn where all the bureaucrats etc are and they can all wank each other off while nobody listens / watches.

    PS Mike it’s Maori TV that fiddles the numbers. Cumulatives and times spent watching etc. Stuff you give the ad agency to give to the client

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  15. EmmaChisit (18 comments) says:

    Seems that TVNZ management/board have not had a peek in to the future.
    Like Newspapers(content now online), music(records/CD’s replaced by online content)
    Travel Agents(replaced by online booking sites), stockbrokers(replaced by DIY online buy/sell)

    Sure some of the above will survive for a small niche market.
    BUT
    SKY/CABLE/TVNZ(digital) will slowly be consumed by downloading online content.

    Talking to my older brother about the seachange he said but I will have to keep sky so I can watch Discovery channel…..
    WRONG. You can currently watch Discovery channel shows(and many many others for free) Its all HD in stereo
    http://dsc.discovery.com/videos

    Have you noticed that all the new TVs come with internet capability. The manufactureres have taken a peek in to the future…….and its not broadcast TV.

    Also ask yourself why Google(at its own cost) is putting a fast fibre optic network under Kansas city?

    If TVNZ wants to remain viable with the new fibre network in NZ. Move it to an online option!!

    PS. Another snippet of trivia Youtube has 300 hours of video uploaded EVERY MINUTE!

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  16. Peter (1,653 comments) says:

    Government will be out of broadcasting.

    Because there will be no such thing as broadcasting.

    The future is one-to-one narrow-casting i.e. on-demand. At best, government will pay to produce content no one will download.

    And then they’ll even have to stop paying to produce that, else look very silly.

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  17. emmess (1,387 comments) says:

    Broadcast isn’t dead yet
    Look at these channel rating from a typical day

    TV ONE: 28.9%
    SKY Network: 25%
    TV2: 16.3%
    TV3: 14.9%
    PRIME: 4.3%
    FOUR: 3.5%
    Choice TV: 2.2%
    Other TV Channels: 2.2%
    TV3 Plus 1: 1.3%
    TV ONE plus 1: 0.9%
    Maori TV: 0.2%
    TVNZ Heartland: 0.2%

    http://www.throng.co.nz/2013/07/tv-ratings-29-july-2013/#more-69657

    It is unbelievable how many people still watch TV1 no matter what is on. I remember reading recently about static on TV1 beating TV3 when it first launched in the early 90s
    Nevertheless, the audience share of the three main channels will continue to splinter and hopefully we will get a few more half decent second tier channels such as Four, Prime and Choice.
    Government in NZ (TVNZ) has never successfully launched a third channel (+1s don’t count) and after 4 or 5 attempts it is clear they never will because the cost structures are too high. If it is not privatized, as the viewership figures continue to fade away, it will become worthless. Private owners could perhaps have a decent go at expanding it into a successful multi-channel network and if not who cares, it will be their loss.

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  18. Fletch (6,108 comments) says:

    I’m not surprised.

    My brother and I tuned in the other night, and there were two presenters (a guy and a girl) broadcasting from what looked like an office after hours, with the lights off in the other offices all around. They looked like they were there by themselves, sort of like squatters.

    The girl had a laptop which she was consulting and they were talking about what were the nicest things to have for breakfast (and yes, I am serious), quoting viewers who were commenting online.
    It just seemed so amateur.

    I was like, that’s quality programming right there.

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  19. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “….I would have loved the Government to sell TVNZ and use the proceeds as capital for a public service broadcaster, merged with Radio NZ…..”

    What? – like the BBC in the Uk – ABC in Aust – and Soviet Pravda?

    That’s all it would ever head towards. Public service broadcasters don’t head anywhere else as the staff are essentually public servants, or the mandate is as a ‘public service broadcaster’ so PC and liberal progressiveness becomes the default setting!

    No thanks!

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  20. kiwiantennas (3 comments) says:

    Is TVNZ U a Freeview channel? I do believe that NZ does not need that much local channels, instead these channels are competiting each other to attract local views but they do not produce much local content. Like in Australia, they at least produce some local serials like Underbelly。 I am expecting some thing like Auckland 30′s serials too, hope it’ coming soon.

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