Factual channel TVNZ 7 launches today at 12pm live from Parliament with The Kingmaker Debate, the first political debate this election year between the minor party leaders.
The ad-free channel is available on Freeview. The debate will also stream live online – click here to view »
TVNZ 7′s concept is to enable more NZ voices to be heard on TV. It will increase public service broadcasting. It will increase the accessibility of TV ONE and 2′s content by allocating prime time slots to shows which normally are only able to be screened at other times.
It aims to help foster our national identity by having more New Zealand content on TV and provide more space and time for different viewpoints to be aired. It will also provide another reason for people to get Freeview.
Documentaries screened on TVNZ 7 will be introduced by Kiwi presenters and put into a NZ context.
The news hour at 8pm will actually be 56 minutes of news (4 minutes of channel promotions) so will provide plenty of time for longer, more in-depth interviews. I observed that this will provide TVNZ as a whole more chances to make/break news stories which will cross over between the two channels.
The TVNZ 7 team have been broadcasting just within TVNZ’s buildings for the last two weeks. We got to see one of the TVNZ News Now bulletins while we were there. It’s presented in front of the news room area, not in a studio. TVNZ News at 8 will be presented from a smaller news studio which looks very similar to the main news studio. The ONE News at 4:30pm bulletin will start broadcasting from there too – all that’s changed is a slide-in section in the front of the desk changing the show’s name.
I’m most looking forward to Russell Brown’s Media 7 show – a multi-media news and commentary series. We’re going to the first filming this Tuesday night (it airs Wednesday). Back Benches, a weekly political review show, hosted by Wallace Chapman, may also be appointment viewing. Naturally, it’s filmed in the character-filled Backbencher pub.