Stan's blog

8

TV3 perks

Is it my imagination, but is one of the perks of the mediaworks taxpayer bailout a free pass on advertising on Good Friday? I’m sure I saw the double episode of Glee sponsored by KFC? While I have nothing against the Colonel, can anyone enlighten us?

So, only those who speak Te Reo will get to enjoy the Rugby World Cup on free-to-air TV under a sordid little deal where the Ministry of Maori Development will toss millions of taxpayer dollars at Maori TV to secure the rights, according to the Herald today, and then broadcast the matches with a Maori commentary. The other 95 percent of viewers will be able to watch the pictures, I guess? I hope someone with a brain in government puts a stop to this, or at the least, makes them joint venture with either TVNZ or TV3 so the vast bulk of people can get something back for their tax dollars.

What a great idea to have a new annual rugby test between us and the poms to honour the late Sir Edmund Hillary. Pity half of New Zealand will not get to see it, though, unless they pay Rupert Murdoch for the privilege. I find it offensive that this media magnate zillionaire gets to cash in on Sir Ed and our national game in one fell swoop. This game must be on free to air TV, so everyone can enjoy the match and pay their tribute to our greatest New Zealander. It’s high time the government took the issue of icon Kiwi sports events on free to air TV seriously, and if there was ever a candidate for intervention, this one is it!

What is up with the Sky TV on-screen programme guide? Being a technophobe, perhaps someone out there can explain to me why, often when I hit the “G” button to go into the programme guide, I either get blank listings or ‘listings temporarily unavailable’? Yet if I then go to a channel, the small banner at the foot of the screen has the programme information displayed? I don’t get it? It is so frustrating. Is there some way to fix this?

15

Proof of plunder

According to the media, Sky TV today gleefully announced a 25 percent rise in after tax earnings to nearly $100 million, from revenues of around $650 million (only up 6.5 percent on last year). Subscribers are reported to be up 5 percent. So where has all the extra profit come from? Needless increases in basic subscriptions? Ever cheaper costs of the endless re-run programming? And what about the crocodile tears from Sky TV over the “losses” from the HD set up that justified their gouging costs of switching to HD? No wonder a pathetic 13,000 have “ordered” the My Sky HDi box. We need a better explanation from this monopoly provider than the spin in their media releases.

Watching Euro 2008 this morning, the Italy Spain match, coverage just stopped as the game went into the second half of extra time with the score nil nil. No apology. No explanation. Just a bunch of mindless adds for ancient movie re-runs. To be charitable to Sky, this is just a symptom of the arrogance that goes with being a monopoly. It’s not as if we can change to the competitor when the service is poor, the charges outrageous, and the programming haphazard. Coverage dropped out at the end of the Ireland test, and again, no apology, no explanation, and no refund (like the Telcos when the service goes down). Another break down? Time to break up this monopoly, I say!

2

Refund

Why do we not get a refund from Sky TV for the loss of coverage during the Test on Saturday? When my phone line went down recently, Telecom gave me a month free line rental.