TVNZ 6 discontinued, TVNZ 7 expanded and new youth channel to launch

TVNZ will expand its public broadcasting channel TVNZ 7 and launch a new commercial free-to-air youth-targeted channel in March 2011.

TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis said today the expanded TVNZ 7 channel would add a number of viewer favourites including pre-school children’s programmes from the current TVNZ 6 channel to its schedule.

Mr Ellis said TVNZ 6 would be discontinued in March and the transmission frequency used for the new commercial advertiser-supported youth channel.
Unlike TVNZ’s other channels and operations, TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 have been Crown funded. The $79 million over five years for the channels is due to expire in the 2011-12 financial year. Both were funded to encourage Freeview uptake and New Zealanders to move to digital television.
The Government had asked TVNZ for a plan to continue two channels on Freeview past the expiry of the funding. The accepted proposal is that one of the frequencies be commercialised and funded from advertising and the other continue to be publicly funded as a public broadcasting channel at least until the end of the current funding.
He said as well as a two hour pre-school children’s block, the expanded TVNZ 7 would have family-skewed information programmes and a commitment to arts and cultural programmes. The hourly news updates and the hour long “News At 8” would continue, along with popular programmes like Back Benches and Media7.
“The expanded TVNZ 7 is the best of both existing channels and will continue to offer advertising free television with programmes that are often difficult to see on commercial channels.”
TVNZ Head of Digital Channels, Eric Kearley said the new youth channel would be a first for New Zealand broadcasting, focussing on “social television” for 15 to 24 year olds.
The programmes on the youth channel would be a combination of reality and factual entertainment. But, importantly, the channel would exist both on air and online with the opportunity for new kinds of interactivity so audiences could use it to connect and socialise with each other.
The youth channel would be broadcast from midday to midnight. It was likely to have a daily live hosted show and themed nights such as extreme sports and concerts. Eight hours in the schedule would be first run content.
“There’s a group of young New Zealanders not being served by traditional free to air television and we believe a well conceived youth channel will be able to connect with them. 

“MTV has closed its New Zealand operations and C4 is changing to an older skewed channel so there is an audience and advertisers who want to talk with them.”
Mr Kearley said the announcements on the details of the channel, including its name, would be made early next year.

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  • Rachel

    I.e. Kidzone is reduced to two hours long. 

  • Bogues

    That really sucks. Kidszone was great as it was ad free and had good shows on. Now it’s going to be a single two hour block.

  • Bogues

    And if the article on is correct, if they are going to continue with hourly news updates, kids will be able to see bombings in Iraq during the new two hour Kidszone. #fail

  • reece_555

    Its the best move to have TVNZ 7 as a public servce channel and reduce the news programming repeats, for example over summer TVNZ 7 plays clip shows of NZI business & breakfast e.t.c. The youth channel is also a great move and something more people will watch.

  • bobscoffee

    from midday to midnight? so pretty much freeview’s a deadzone before midday with most channels showing infomercials or closed. The way they have mentioned this new youth channel as having ‘reality’ programming is concerning as well.

    TVNZ7 was great as a factual channel. Now we have to put up with pre-school programming and rubbish family shows? Why can’t pre-school programming remain on the new ‘youth’ channel? Nothing else will be broadcast on that channel before midday anyway.

  • Benjamin Paul

    Yea people will watch it instead of the eldery focused channels currently.

  • Rachel

    Bogues: the article is the same – it says “The hourly news updates and the hour long “News At 8” would continue” above.

  • AaronB

    totally agree bobscoffee. why have dead air before midday, may as well put the kids shows on in the morning and leave tvnz7 as an adults channel.

  • bobscoffee

    TVNZ7 elderly focused Benjamin?

  • Newsfan100

    Couldn’t agree more with bobscoffe – they could run Kidzone for the entire morning from 6am-midday on the youth channel.

    Even if the station is moving away from much of the news/factual content I think the rolling news during breakfast is still very beneficial.

    I guess they will now pull out already-aired family programmes off TV One for use on TVNZ 7 now they are going for a more mainstream audience.

  • Rusty Viewer

    If they’re gonna have it from midday to midnight, why not then repeat those 12 hours from midnight to midday? Better than dead air…unless they’re planning on infomercials to generate some income.

    Will TVNZ 7 be extended to 24 hours?

    Will reruns of classic Shortland Street continue?

  • David Finch

    Blame the current Government for not having the political will to fund any of these channels properly and TVNZ management for jumping into bed with Sky – most of the programmes that could and should have been on TVNZ6 have been shunted on to Heartland. So what will be getting exactly?  A cheaply run compromised TVNZ 7 and a COMMERCIAL youth channel where an ad-free family friendly channel used to be.  And no doubt TVOne will continue to be the dumbed down mess that it already is. I was amazed and disgusted to note Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman declaring in parliament that the thing he is most proud of in his portfolio is getting TVNZ back to “doing what it does best”.  Er… what would that be exactly?



  • Rusty Viewer

    TVNZ have probably decided to use the new youth channel to create a three-pronged attack on the revamped TV3 and Four. Just when CAnwest thought they were finally levelling the playing field…

  • theidolwhorocks

    Why can’t they upgrade TVONE and TV2, cut off 6 & 7, and get some more shows that will make them money.

  • Reg88

    Jonathon Coleman’s view of broadcasting policy is so limited and compromised by his big cabinet mates that it really means nothing. The National govt dislikes public broadcasting and continues to underfund bothe RNZ and TVNZ ..and that’s a decision made by Bill English and John Key. Publically-owned media are a pain in the arse for any government ..and thats why we should be keeping them.