Thursday, October 01, 2009

Nationalising sports broadcasting rights

That is exactly what has now been done with your taxes, now that the government has approved taking your money so Maori TV can outbid TVNZ, TV3 and Sky (which owns Prime) in buying the free-to-air broadcast rights to the Rugby World Cup.

In short, the government has kneecapped two private companies, and its own company, in order to subsidise an already highly subsidised broadcaster. MTS gets $16.5 million of your money, through the ever accountable Te Puni Kokiri, in this year along just to broadcast. This is clearly a big piece of pork for the Maori Party. Given Maori TV is meant to exist to promote the language, not be a platform to broadcast sports, you do have to wonder about how this is compatible with it.

Of course, the strategy presumably is to get more people to get their TVs tuned into the channel, and more watching it, to boost the ratings, the advertising revenue and for that to have a follow on impact on ratings for other programmes. It's not enough that MTS gets over $300,000 a week in subsidies, no it needs the government to buy the broadcasting rights for it.

The NZ Herald reports the cost is NZ$3 million. It is, of course, worthless to you as you would have been able to see it anyway on whatever channel it is on (notwithstanding coverage issues).

Just another day in the life of a government that happily spends your money, like the last lot did, buying special interests when it feels the need to do so. Maybe Maori would have preferred the money as a tax cut?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will not be watching the rwc whoever gets it. I hope the all blacks lose because they no longer represent anything I like about NZ.