Dear Mr Bradbury

It would seem that your memory is failing you in your twilight years as a media personality.  It used to be that you clothed yourself in the lycra tights and cape of a vigilante out to ensure free public television for everyone.  Now, instead, I see you’re advocating that it should only be for those who can afford to pay for it.

You suggest that the sky-underclass will just have to wait until 2014 before they can see you on television, which is when your crystal ball is predicting a change of government to one that values public broadcasting.

Considering that you have little faith in Labour’s ability to take public broadcasting seriously, coupled with the fact that you partially blame their previously failed policy for the demise of TVNZ7, I’m intrigued to know how this is all going to mysteriously come together and make things significantly better for the people you used to represent.

Let’s get all dramatic and pretend you’re right though, just for a minute.  Where would this then leave you/Face/Triangle?  Do you see a new government investing into a company that is providing pseudo public broadcasting via a monopoly, re-introducing funding for the same organisation you initially blamed for the loss of TVNZ7 in the first place or would they create competition with a new publicly owned organisation?

The last two options are the only ones the control freaks in Wellington would ever entertain.

You’ve said:

As a frontperson for SaveTVNZ7, I am acutely aware of Sky TV’s position in the industry and the criticism they have come in for when attributing blame for the decline of public broadcasting. To their credit, they have listened to that criticism and have been the only agency out there prepared to give Triangle TV a lifeline beyond the switch off date.

Haven’t you have fallen right into their trap?  This is what a monopoly does.  They play for all the marbles.  Every now and then they’ll give you one to play with just so they can pull out a boulder and smash you with it.  If Sky were really interested in helping public broadcasting, why are they not freeing up one of their terrestrial frequencies?  Why is Face not included in their new premium-sky-underclass platform?

It seems to me that the only reason you’re happy with the current arrangement is because Sky is now paying for you to increase your belt size.  Oh how easily someone can be bought.

You’ve bleated for years about Sky and Murdoch, and Murdoch again and yet now that it suits, they’re your best mates.  All Face TV has done is provide a monopoly with yet more exclusive content.  Sure, there weren’t any other options but that’s what happens when successive governments undermine public broadcasting and then those who try to defend it start sleeping with the enemy.

Good one.  Chalk up another win to bloated, money hungry corporates who act in their own best, self-serving interests and a loss to your integrity.

And as for your advice about starting a blog about drying paint, I’m not one to shy away from advice so I’ve started one.  I look forward to comparing traffic stats..

About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Killing, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, Go Girls, and the NRL.
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  • Name.

    The ever growing ego that is Throng.

  • Barton Madbury

    Thanks Regan , the link through to the real estate site was very helpful

  • David Finch

    What a sour, mean-spirited post. No doubt ALL the people who work for Face support and value public broadcasting. Many would probably prefer not to be on Sky. Does that mean they should all give up their jobs so they can live with a clean conscience? Worry about your own integrity Regan; let those who are in the business of providing public service-style television (by whatever means possible) get on with it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reganjcunliffe Regan Cunliffe

      Unlike Mr Bradbury, you correctly use the phrase “public service-style television”. Putting it behind a paywall and then calling it a public service is just plain wrong. I get that it’s not an ideal situation, and possibly the only one, but to pretend that Sky is somehow doing a great thing here is completely naive.

      More power to Jim and the team at Triangle/Face. I’m all for them moving forward and becoming stronger but Sky is playing to win and this is a strategic play that, were Bradbury not under their illustrious spell, he’d be frothing at the mouth over.

  • Stuart Dumphries

    It’s hard to escape the feeling that Martyn is looking to host some kind of real estate show on the Living Channel.