Mediaworks dumps Media3

Media3Russell Brown has confirmed what many already knew.  Media3 has been canned.

I mentioned something in a speech last night that it’s probably time to make public: our Media3 TV show is no more.

The programme’s demise has been declared more than once by pundits, but as far as we were concerned, we had a show until relatively recently. Shortly before the last season ended, we were asked by TV3 to prepare a prop for the October NZ On Air funding round, with the assumption that we’d be back on air early next year or possibly late this year.

We duly worked up some ideas to freshen up the show and wrote and submitted the prop. We didn’t hear back from TV3 until deadline week for the funding round, and when we did, the news was that the network would not be continuing with Media3.

NZ On Air remained keen to fund us and gave us more time to find another screen, but that has not proved possible. I wouldn’t rule out something similar appearing in future, but for now, it’s done.

The show didn’t rate badly. Contrary to some assumptions, this year’s shift to late Wednesday nights was a move up. The first show in that slot was the biggest audience we’d registered on TV3 and it increased thereafter. In good weeks we’d attract 60,000 to 70,000 viewers, with the Saturday morning repeat typically accounting for something less than a quarter of those.

But the number of viewers within TV3’s target demographic was smaller than that, and I presume, as is their right, they made a commercial decision. They have a business to run, after all, and that business relies on delivering the audiences advertisers want to reach. I do think this underlines the case for a public broadcaster.

I have mixed feelings about this.  There is definitely space for a show like Media3/Media7 on television but like many shows of its ilk, broadcasters dump them into unreasonable and unrateable timeslots which is a recipe for the inevitable.  The unfortunate thing for Media3 was that unlike the Q&A and The Nations of the broadcast landscape, it just didn’t break news stories.  Those other shows aggressively seek content that will make headlines where as Media3 tended to provide more commentary and opinion.  It wasn’t bad, it was just not news making.

With NZ On Air happy to fund a new series, perhaps a new look media critiquing program is in order.  Here’s hoping one of the networks comes up with something else to fill the gap.

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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 Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • John McCready

    An excellent series that would fit in well on SKY NEWS.

    • Drew Horan

      No not behind a pay wall! Such a shame as we need Media 3 for next years election coverage, I guess we will have to wait for David Cunliffe to become prime minister before public broadcasting is resurrected in this country.

      • emmess74

        Yeah, unfortunately that’s all we will be allowed to watch under David Cunliffe.
        Red ‘international colour of of sooooooocialiasm’ propaganda

        • David Finch

          Yes, because Labour is seriously proposing replacing our entire commercial broadcasting system with one government controlled channel which will only broadcast programmes favourable to their agenda. Grow up.

    • Robyn Gallagher

      If it were on Sky News it wouldn’t be eligible for NZ On Air funding.

      • Citizen Cane

        Could SKy pick it up if they agree to broadcast it on PRIME?

        • David Finch

          If Sky were to pick up Media3 for Prime it would remain in a late night time slot, probably even later than Backbenches. It would be interesting to compare recent viewing figures for these two shows with the ratings they achieved when they were on TVNZ7 – in prime time slots (and with frequent repeats during the week). I’m sure a dedicated public service channel would deliver a greater return on NZonAir’s investment in these sorts of shows – in terms of viewership – than either TV3 or Prime have been able to provide.

    • Reece

      I think anyone in a management position at Sky News Australia as well as its part owner BSkyB would object to anything publicly funded airing on their channel.

  • David Finch

    Media3 has not been renewed because it was a low-rating public service-style programme on a commercial channel. If TVNZ7 had been allowed to continue it is a fairly safe bet that the show would still be screening – in better timeslots and to more viewers than it was ever likely to reach on TV3. Also I can think of no reason why a media analysis programme should feel compelled to break stories or “make news”. Russell Brown is correct. We need a public service channel – more now than ever.

  • Gary

    What other company has put in an offer to purchase Mediaworks from the recievers that wanted Media 3 dumped as part of the sale agreement?