Home grown television numbers still strong

NZ On Air, which invests in a diverse range of New Zealand broadcast content, has just released its annual Local Content Report measuring the amount of local programming on free to air television.

Over 11,000 hours screened on the six main free to air channels, with still more local programmes on Freeview and pay channels.

In 2009, notwithstanding the impact of the global recession, local content on the six main free to air channels reached 11,418 hours. Although this was a slight decrease (1.6%) on 2008 figures, the total is more than four times the amount of locally made television when NZ On Air began producing this report 21 years ago. Back then there were just three free to air channels: TV One, TV2 and TV3. Now there are six, including C4, Prime and Māori Television.

New Zealand programmes last year accounted for 15 of the Top 20 television programmes. They include Fair Go, Dancing with the Stars, Save Our Home and Country Calendar (now in its 45th year). Other successful series include South with Marcus Lush, Stars In Their Eyes and The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show along with popular local dramas Outrageous Fortune and Go Girls.

NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson said she was pleased the figures had remained stable. “Backing local content is a significant commitment for broadcasters,” she said. “Foreign programmes cost much less to screen. The fact that the free to air channels all want more local content is testament to the quality and success of home grown programmes.”

In the year ending June 2009 NZ On Air invested over $90 million in over 800 hours of local programmes.

“Continuing network support, combined with NZ On Air’s investment, means that New Zealand stories and perspectives continue to be enjoyed by many different audiences,” said Ms Wrightson.

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