MediaWorks CEO, Michael Anderson, wants the Minister of Broadcasting to halt plans to fund Radio New Zealand to create its own public service television station (RNZ Plus). His concern is that creating another free to air TV channel will further fragment television audiences, in our small population, and put the financial future of TV3 further into jeopardy.
Anderson proposes that “… it would better for the industry if the Government gave TVNZ the $38 million and strong-armed it into devoting one of its main channels to public service broadcasting.” When TVNZ had its two public service television channels it had a conflict of interest between its commercial channels and its public service channels. You see there was no money to be made for them if their viewers were watching, say, TVNZ7 instead of TV One (now called TVNZ1). They didn’t advertise their public service channels very often on their commercial ones and many viewers didn’t even realise that TVNZ7 existed.
As for the funding, RNZ was never getting all of the $38 million, rather RNZ would get between $20-30 million. It still has a $12 million funding shortfall as its last funding increase was a mere $2.8 million extra per year and that followed a 9 year funding freeze! Now the $12 million funding shortfall is for its current operations, i.e. without adding the cost of building and running a new television station to it. According to Gordon Campbell, the Broadcasting Minister intends to put most of the extra funding is “…going to be poured into Auckland, to build a non- commercial television station, currently dubbed RNZ +. Meanwhile, TVNZ will continue to exist separately alongside it, as an entirely commercial operation.” He also expressed concern that this could come at the expense of the already severely underfunded radio operations.
There are many New Zealand viewers out there who enjoy good quality news and current affairs. MediaWorks got rid of Campbell Live, 3D and other current affairs from their network.
#FundRNZ – The fight continues …
If you would like to donate to keep the fight going, here is the link. NB all previous fundraising listed on this has been spent: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/fundrnzcampaign