Wednesday, February 15, 2006

TV2 funding TV1 doesn't stack up

I see the party keeping Labour in government – NZ First (who voted for Pita Paraone?) – is supporting a commercial free TV 1 funded by TV2 profits – which of course, doesn’t stack up.
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Even if TV1 ran on half the budget of ABC TV in Australia ($250 million, lets be generous and convert A$ into NZ$), there would hardly be enough money.
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TVNZ as a whole ran a surplus of around $57 million last year. Now TVNZ without ads on TV1 would make a smaller surplus, not 50% (as TV2 generates most of the revenue) but maybe around 20% - it also depends on whether you allow TV1 to advertise TV2 programmes or not - these are not legally commercials, but highly valuable in retaining audience share.
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So, anyone for a $40 million a year public service channel? Maori television gets $26 million a year of your taxes for programmes and to cover operating costs, AND it has advertising revenue, and it broadcasts only in the evenings, is that what TV1 is to become? The BBC World feed for overnight isn't cheap either, that would have to go.
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Now I note Sue Kedgley supports this too, but then she’s always been a fan of forcing people to pay for things she likes and banning things she hates, as PC so wonderfully has demonstrated.
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Compulsory pay TV should be resisted. NZ On Air should be wound up with its funding for TV programmes to cease, and TVNZ should be sold – having access and potential control over a means of disseminating information is something governments should stay far away from.

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