Why #BoycottTV3 is such a stupid idea

Ever since Mediaworks announced that Campbell Live was to end, a concerted effort has been mounted against them to boycott the channel. A decision that is sheer stupidity.

I’m not entirely sure what the boycott is hoping to achieve. John Campbell has taken his settlement and departed. He’s not coming back.

TV3 also have a number of other current affairs shows. The Nation on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and 3D as part of their early evening Sunday night line up. Both perform poorly.

While it is understandable that some are upset at Campbell’s departure, what the effect of a boycott may have is that Mediaworks give up on current affairs, and potentially news, altogether.

When TVNZ ditched Close Up for the much softer Seven Sharp, where were the calls for boycott against TVNZ? The state broadcaster, due to inertia, seems to get away with everything while a commercial broadcaster is supposed to be held to account for a job that TVNZ has failed to provide.

Unlike Mediaworks, we own TVNZ. If anyone should be being boycotted, shouldn’t it be them? Hasn’t the public broadcaster, whose responsibility you’d assume it was, failed to deliver the type of content these boycotters are demanding?

What I find astounding is that this little campaign of theirs is having the opposite effect. The very show they hate is building momentum and rather than target the state broadcaster or government, they seem intent on reducing competition and empowering the very beast that should, and yet refuses, to give them the type of public broadcasting they’re demanding of a private company. It’s insanity. It’s unproductive. And more importantly, it’s regressive.

A strong competitor for TVNZ is important for the country. The fact that audiences have been abandoning the channel and Campbell Live is one thing but by boycotting shows like The Nation and 3D, all the audiences are proving is that Mediaworks were right to get rid of Campbell Live because there just isn’t an appetite for shows like that.

The best thing viewers could do is flock to those current affairs programs en masse. And not just for a short, concerted period of time either.

Viewers were implored to vote with their remotes during the Save Campbell Live campaign. I’d suggest that the better alternative for a #BoycottTV3 would be #WatchCurrentAffairs

If you don’t, you’d better get used to reality TV.

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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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  • Trevor Ashman

    I can’t agree more, it’s beyond stupid 🙁

  • Mike

    Also agree 100%

  • Dave Ian Batten

    It’s called shooting themselves in the foot. TV3 knew full well this was going to happen. And now they have another cooking show to come. At what point do we say enough?

  • Andy Davis

    Why Regan is stupid:

    Bycotting a station for taking off a money making show that people cared about and replacing it with a bad knock off of a shit UK show that watches people be bitchy at dinner parties is a good idea. Period.
    If you add to that the obvious political sway that occured, then you have two very valid reasons.
    If the “competition” you talk about leads to an even larger dumbing down of the available shows then the less competition the better.

    Get a clue

    • Regan Cunliffe

      I guess the only logical conclusion to make from all of this is that the Government have conspired with the executives from a private company, to drive it into the ground so that their own Government controlled TV network remains at the top of the pile.

      Either way, the Government wins I guess. Boycott away and watch them do what they want anyway…

    • mike

      Political sway? The show had been declining for years, it was inevitable that they would look at the show after 10 years. You should get a clue and watch your language.

      • Andy Davis

        Yup, they looked at it alright. Hows that working out for them so far?

        I have a clue, and my language is fine thanks.

        • Regan Cunliffe
          • Andy Davis

            Then they should just be happy with the viewers that want to watch a rerun of cops pulling people over and stop crying about the people who tuned out and how they will cost people jobs lol.

          • Regan Cunliffe

            I guess every one ends up happy then

          • Andy Davis

            Yup. Unless someone starts judging people who have taken a stand on something…

          • Michael Gibb

            So what are you taking a stand on?

          • Clemgeopin

            If the ‘Road Cops’ is delivering ‘better bang for their buck’ as you say, then they won’t be axing ‘Road Cops’ in a hurry, I presume! May be it will last 10 more years like Campbell Live. Long live Road Cops.

    • Jay

      say the boycott works, what happens then when decliing ratings leads to the cancellation of shows like Jono and Ben and 7 Days and the unemployment of those popular NZ personalities? I guess people will announce they’re boycotting TV3…oh wait, they already did that

      • Andy Davis

        If people choose not to watch a channel, calling it a boycott or not, then this will have certain results. If the amount of people who stop watching that channel make that big of a difference then obviously the people running it should take heed. If they don’t, it’s not the people who tuned out that are to blame.

  • I don’t know if I’m boycotting it. There’s just less of what I like to watch there now. Come Dine With Me could be interesting and 3D I watch on a story by story basis. I still watch a lot of Four.

  • K

    Agreed Regan..

  • Mr Guess

    It really begs the question, Should we abandon the NZ on Air scatter-funding model (which no one else in the world does), and go back to funding a state-owned channel responsible for programming of national significance?
    Wouldn’t even have to be non-commercial or snooty, just something a little more utilitarian than what the purely commercial advertiser-driven networks we now have.

  • benpaul12

    It’s a pretty empty threat really. I am not sure the people who tuned in for Campbell Live when it was on the chopping block were watching 3 anyway.

    The other shows you mention, The Nation/3D are pretty horrid anyway.

  • Grabate

    Asides from SoHo, I haven’t watched a single TV station since I got Netflix and subscribed to a VPN.

  • coltheman

    TV3 needs to get a bit more balance in their current affairs shows. Stop being so biased against the National Govt. Report the issues fairly and let us adults decide what we think about it.Also Mediaworks employees need to get a backbone and stop blocking anyone who disagrees with them on Social Media.The moment John Campbell blocked me I stopped watching his show and never went back.

  • Scott Milne

    It’s not a boycott. They just don’t have anything on the channel worth watching. It’s programming itself to oblivion.

  • Michael Gibb

    To put it simply, the boycott is counterproductive.

    It brings ratings down, and hence the revenue, making it harder for TV3 to survive. It pushes them further into desperation, looking for the most low brow programming, hoping to appeal to the lowest common denominator with the hope that will bring in even more viewers. That forces even more quality content off the air.

    The solution is not a boycott, as it doesn’t tell those in charge, what sort of programs they should be showing. The solution is to boost the ratings of only those programs you do want to see, and TV3 does have some programs worth watching.

  • Kevin Trye

    It was a mediaworks management decision to cease the Campbell Live show and to also reduce the length of their news and other current affairs programmes. Obviously they have concluded that news and current affairs programmes do not attract or retain as many viewers as cop, cooking, dancing and other low cost entertainment shows. That is their choice, right or wrong. TVNZ and others worldwide have similar views.

    It’s just part of the trend to dumb down TV and sadly, most people seem to prefer it, meaning that maybe mediaworks is right? But from an advertisers perspective, what is the av disposable income and sales conversion rate from those that watch these light entertainment shows vs the other in depth news and current affairs shows? It’s a stark truth that advertisers will be looking at the ‘quality’ and demographic of the viewer and their monthly sales data, not just the raw viewer numbers.

    Countless surveys tell us that TV viewing hours are dropping worldwide as people are going online now in the early evening. Maybe throng should consider speciality online shows as another media channel. Certainly it’s easier to monitor viewer numbers, engage them with offers, as well as track related sales conversions for advertisers.

    Long term corporate-driven TV as we know it is in a difficult situation as online options take over. Online would seem the obvious low cost ‘media channel’ for the likes of John Campbell and other investigative journalists, assuming the govt and telecoms continue building up our much needed fibre broadband infrastructure.

  • Blair

    How about we all just boycott every reality TV show on TV. Don’t watch Dancing With the Stars, the 4 night a week cooking shows, building shows or other talent shows.

    • Robot2

      i already am.. and so are a lot of others