As a taxpayer I am paying my share of the $79 million the Government has put into funding TVNZ’s two new free to air digital channels. But TVNZ is refusing to make them available over Sky decoders, despite being free to air like TVONE and TV2 which are also available on Sky.
This sticks it to consumers and taxpayers. I am forced to pay out money for a second decoder which according to many reports performs appallingly badly anyway.
But the money isn’t even the issue. It is convenience. Like most people on My Sky, I now use only one remote control to record and view. Having to use one decoder for 48 channels and another decoder for the other two would be a major pain in the butt.
If TVNZ were a private broadcaster I would not mind so much about whether they make their channels available over Sky (though I would still say it makes sense for them to do so to maximise their audience), but I am forced to fund these new channels through my taxes, so they have an obligation to make it available to me as cheaply as possible – and that is via the technology already in 55% of households.
If TVNZ were not gouging the taxpayer for the costs of the new channels, then it would beyond doubt provide them through Sky – they would need the subscriber numbers and it woudl be a straight forward commercial decision. But due to the taxpayer picking up the costs, they can crap on the viewer and force us to pay more, not caring if it means less subscribers because they get their money from the Government.
The Government talks about a commitment to public broadcasting. Well why then are they letting their public broadcaster screw over the public?