Why TVNZ 6 and 7 should be on Sky

Paul Norris, head of Christchurch Polytechnic’s broadcasting school, blogs that it’s simply not good enough that TVNZ6 and TVNZ7, largely funded from public money, are not available on Sky:

Public broadcasting, and publicly-funded programmes should be available to as wide an audience as possible. You might argue that TVNZ is in breach of its Charter by not ensuring that these channels are available to Sky viewers. How can TVNZ possibly be serious about its mission to “inspire New Zealanders on every screen” when its programming is denied to the 45% of householders who have Sky?

For its part the Government has been notably silent. How can it tolerate the spending all this public money for a mere handful of viewers? Why has it not threatened to impose “must carry” rules requiring Sky to carry the new channels? It should use its power to bring Sky and TVNZ to the negotiating table. That would be acting in the public interest.

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  • openmedia

    And long may it remain so while Sky keep a tight hold of Prime.

    Also why should the government subsidise the profits of Sky TV? These channels were created to give freeview something to differentiate in the market.

  • TV Blogger

    It never ceases to amaze me when the liberal elite in this country call on our socialist government to exercise its legislative powers.
    Smacking: Yes
    Airports: Yes
    Electricity Networks: No
    Sale of private property: Depends who to (China, or Canada)
    Freedom of Speech & Gagging Media access by the Parliament’s LABOUR appointed speaker: No

    NOT ONCE did Norris come out and attack autocratic lunatic ‘Margaret Wilson’ when she ceased the doors of the debating chamber to the media last year (effectively giving her freedom to censor all content which may cast our elected officials in a bad light).

    I don’t have a problem with Paul arguing the public interest, but perhaps he should start picking his causes in a less hypocritical manner.

    I’d actually also like to see TVNZ6&7 on Sky – BUT only under a mutual agreement between both parties.
    The government forcing Sky to open its boxes up for TVNZ is the (legal) equivalent of theft – as it was when they stole the property rights of the airport from its shareholders.

    Perhaps when it comes to our university educators it’s not ‘what’ is to be legislated but rather ‘who’ the legislation effects.
    The general approach of NZ’s universities:
    Capitalist, Freemarket TNCs = Very Very Bad.
    Business Magnates from Communist autocratic China with little or no respect to human rights = roll out the welcome mat.

    Perhaps Norris should spend more time spinning his rubbish on the impressionable minds of the next generation of media drones.

    In the real world Paul the public will judge you, and your grade has and will always be: FAILURE!

  • nanisnap

    I thought TVNZ6 and 7 were made to help TVNZ fulfill their public broadcasting obligations? And isn’t the selling point of Freeview supposed to be that its free digital TV? Not that its a new Sky with tons of channels.

    Prime was not entirely paid for by tax payers therefore has no obligation to be available to everyone.

    6&7 on the otherhand were paid for by the government and so should be available to everyone. It would be like the government building a new national library in the middle of a small town and telling people that if they want to use it they have to move there. When they could have built it in Auckland or Wellington and reach a bunch of people on opening day.

  • openmedia

    TVNZ have to fullfill their obligations via TV One and TV 2. The funding for TVNZ 6 + 7 was to promote digital TV with the focus on FTA digital TV in particular freeview.

    At present approx 45% of Sky’s viewership is for the 3 main FTA channels (1-3) for which they are required to pay zero. Most of their other major content and imported channels they pay a considerable amount for. Hence presenting then with two more “free” channels screams government subsidy.

    Now I’d consider Prime plus an additional service a fair exchange, perhaps Sky News which is FTA on freeview in the UK.

  • oooppps

    it is available to everyone – just buy a box

  • openmedia

    Oh and Prime gets NZ On Air funding because it is supposed to be available FTA. I’m working on a submission to NZ On Air that their funding should be removed until they are FTA on all NZ digial platforms.

  • Morphyoss

    The way i see it is that Freeview is not a competitor to sky, it is merely a platform which will be used to replace analogue transmitions in the near future.

    I believe that TVNZ 6&7 should be on sky as they are entirely funded by the NZ Government and not TVNZ, therefore they should be open and available on all digital platforms free to air, (if TVNZ or mediaworks created their own commercial channels, then that would be a different story)

    Now you can argue that sky makes a profit off FTA and this is true, however it comes down to choice and you don’t have to pay for sky if you’re against them making a profit, but they shouldn’t have to pay for a channel when everybody else gets it for free.

    Prime likewise should be on Freeview, well freeview|HD at least, i think they excuses from sky as to why this hasn’t happened yet are extremely poor and really are bullshit. I would also like to see sky offer their FTA only package for free.

    The best way out of this problem is for TVNZ and Sky to negotiate on their own terms rather then have government legislation, however if a compromise is not found soon government intervention may be needed.

  • Jake B

    I agree that freeview isn’t a competitor, it’s a alternative to analogue for free tv. But…. Sky shouldn’t keep prime out of freeview. TVNZ 6 and 7 is funded by the government, who are pushing freeview, not sky. it’s not like sky is missing out on too much, as they have lots of news channels and entertainment channels. Prime should come to freeview as it’s free to air and should follow BSkyB’s actions in the uk, by putting a small offering onto freeview. I think they promised the IOC that they would have ‘free to air coverage of london 2012 on prime’, but how can that be when analogue will be switched off and prime is only on sky? SO TVNZ 6 AND TVNZ 7 SHOULD BE ON FREEVIEW ONLY UNTIL SKY OFFERS SOME CONTENT TO FREEVIEW.

  • Tui

    Well put Jake; totally agreed.