After months of criticism, Jonathan Coleman has come clean on his TVNZ7 audience figures.

Former broadcasting minister Jonathan Coleman has admitted using incorrect audience figures for the soon-to-be-defunct TVNZ7 but says the free-to-air channel was to be scrapped anyway.

Those campaigning to save TVNZ7, which is due to turn into a TV One Plus One channel next month, say the error has contributed to the demise of New Zealand’s only commercial-free, public-service television station.

In April last year Dr Coleman said TVNZ7 attracted about 207,000 viewers a week, compared with the 600,000 people who tuned in nightly to One News, and the Government would not be putting new money into the channel because it was not a high priority.

He was questioned about the figure earlier this year after a report on TVNZ7’s own programme Media 7 said it was wrong because Dr Coleman had divided a monthly figure by four. Audience data was only collected once a month and weekly audience numbers were much higher, it said. Continue reading »

United Future leader Peter Dunn has vowed to save TVNZ 7 after he secured a coalition deal for his party with National.

The MP says he intends to save the channel and will go directly to TVNZ’s bard in order to try and get them to change their mind about pulling the channel next June.

“I’ve got a very strong belief in public broadcasting,” Dunn said. 

“I think Radio New Zealand and TVNZ 7 are good reflections of good public broadcasting in New Zealand and need to be preserved.”

This week Dunn signed a confidence and supply agreement with National which includes a deal to maintain levels of funding for TVNZ and Radio New Zealand for their public broadcasting duties.

“I would have preferred to have got a much more explicit agreement regarding the future of TVNZ 7 but the National Party wouldn’t go there,” he said.

“TVNZ keeps saying it needs to run as a commercial body, and it obviously makes its own decisions, but I think it needs to recognise there is a significant chunk of the population that prefers the approach TVNZ 7 takes and would be very disappointed if that channel was to close.”

Source: TVNZ

Radio New Zealand is looking at plans to present televised versions of its content to act as a new public service television channel.

With TVNZ7 no longer receiving funding as of July 2012, the proposed RNZ channel would fill the void.

South Pacific Pictures is working with RNZ on the plan and chief executive John Barnett says the behind-the-scenes proposals had already received a positive reception from the RNZ board.

Details such as financing and securing transmission space on Freeview have yet to be worked out but Barnett believes RNZ TV could be produced for a lot less than the $15 million-plus a year spent on TVNZ digital channels in the past four years.

Source: Herald

TVNZ has confirmed digital channel TVNZ7 will be closed in June next year.

It comes after Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman said the government will not extend funding for TVNZ 7 beyond June 2012.

TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis said he was proud of the channel’s achievements, but respected the government’s decision.

“TVNZ has been privileged to launch and develop TVNZ 7 over the past 3 years, providing New Zealanders with unique perspectives on the issues of today in ways that we cannot otherwise provide through our core channels of TV ONE and TV2,” Ellis said in a statement.

He said he was optimistic the channel’s 20-30 employees would be redeployed to other positions at TVNZ.

TVNZ re-launches its public service channel TVNZ 7 tomorrow, offering one destination for advertising-free programming.

TVNZ Head of Digital Channels Eric Kearley said the expanded TVNZ 7 incorporates some of the best programming from TVNZ 6, which ceases broadcast on the same day.

“The expanded TVNZ 7 will continue to offer programmes that are often difficult to see on commercial channels. It retains a commitment to quality local and international content that is challenging, diverse and educational,” Mr Kearley said

TVNZ 7 fosters learning, informs discussion and encourages debate for all New Zealanders. 

The channel will screen pre-school content, factual programmes, news and current affairs shows, documentary series, arts programmes and one-off specials.

Key programmes on TVNZ 7 from tomorrow, 1 March include:

Kidzone daily 6-8am with new episodes of local shows Kidzone With Kayne, Giggles and Pop Up, and international shows Mr Moon and Why?

Existing programmes made for TVNZ 7, such as Back Benches, Media7, Animal Academy and The Good Word.

New local programmes for TVNZ 7, such as How To Look At A Painting and Hindsight.

International Programmes new to a New Zealand audience, such as Justice, This Week with Christiane Amanpour and ABC World.

Programmes produced through strategic partnerships with organisations interested in making genuine information available to the public, such as Meet The Locals, Tales From Te Papa and Volunteer Power.

Timely primetime repeats of ‘special interest’ programmes originally commissioned for off-peak on TV ONE, such as Rural Delivery, Marae and Asia Downunder.

News bulletins including a short bulletin on the hour every hour from 8am, and a full hour of news at 8pm.

TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7, launched in 2007 and 2008, were publicly funded channels to encourage Freeview uptake and move New Zealanders to digital television.

Last year the Government agreed to the TVNZ 6 frequency being commercialised and funded from advertising and TVNZ 7 continuing to be public funded until the end of June 2012.

TVNZ will launch a new commercial youth focussed channel, named “U”, on the freed-up frequency on 13 March.

From tomorrow 1 March, TVNZ 7 is available on Freeview/TiVo channel 7 and SKY/Telstra channel 77

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.

So according to 3News it’s possible TVNZ7 and Radio New Zealand will be merged. How will this work? Right now, the news on TVNZ7 is pretty much just ONE News, which some of us (HelenD not being one of them) believe is substandard and full of reporters who couldn’t report to save themselves. What’s going to happen to Radio New Zealand’s quality when they’re going to have to share the newsroom with a bunch of incompetent amateurs?

Bill English has also announced that the government funding for TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 won’t be renewed. Surprise surprise. So what’s going to happen? Commercials will be introduced to TVNZ6? What about TVNZ7? Will there be extra funding for the merged news organisation? Radio NZ are underfunded as it is, with the government refusing to commit any more funds to it.

Could this finally be the death of public broadcasting in this country?

TVNZ 7 highlights New Zealand innovation and development throughout August with its Spotlight on Science + Technology, in association with the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST).

The month of special programming officially launches on Tuesday 3 August at the City Gallery in Wellington with the unveiling of new local television series Ever Wondered?, produced in partnership with the Royal Society of New Zealand, which, like MoRST, is concerned with promoting the importance of science and technology for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Ever Wondered?, presented by the winner of the 2009 Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize, Dr John Watt, is set to inspire Kiwi minds and spark curiosities as Watt searches high and low for answers to today’s most challenging scientific questions.

TVNZ 7 Channel Manager, Philippa Mossman, is delighted to work with the Royal Society to bring New Zealanders unique local content which highlights the importance of science and technology to our country’s development.

“Science and technology are at the heart of everything, and Ever Wondered? is our opportunity to showcase the work of our scientists and to consider how much we value them, and what they do for our economy and lifestyle,” says Mossman.

The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Dr Di McCarthy, shares this enthusiasm.

“The idea of a brand new television series on TVNZ 7 designed to excite and inform with great stories of science and technology in contemporary New Zealand is thrilling to the Royal Society of New Zealand.

“We especially want to see young New Zealanders become inspired by the fantastic array of opportunities which science and technology offer as a career. We are also looking forward to seeing the benefits of research presented in a way that makes viewers take a second look and say ‘Wow, I didn’t know that.”

TVNZ 7’s Spotlight on Science and Technology brings New Zealanders a range of programmes that provide insight into the exciting scientific developments taking place globally and locally.

These include stand-out BBC series Wonders of the Solar System and The Story of Science, the TVNZ 7 Internet Debate LIVE from Avalon Studios on Tuesday 11 August, The Good Word Debate (a spin-off of TVNZ 7 regular show The Good Word with a moot skewed to the science/technology theme), animated short-form series Science Made Simple, and special editions of TVNZ 7’s regular shows Back Benches, Talk Talk and Media7.

For more information go to . TVNZ 7 is available on Freeview/TiVo channel 7 and on SKY/Telstra channel 97.


TVNZ 7 has formed a partnership with the Royal Society of New Zealand, with the shared objective of promoting the value of science and technology to New Zealanders.  A major new commission will see a science and technology series produced for the digital channel and launched on air later in the year.

TVNZ 7 is an advertising free channel, available via both Freeview and SKY. The channel offers stimulating factual and information programmes for all New Zealanders, documentaries, current affairs and news bulletins. The schedule is made up of a mixture of local and international programmes.

The mission of the Royal Society of New Zealand is to foster in the New Zealand community a culture that supports science and technology and to promote science and technology in schools, in industry and in society.

TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis is delighted by the partnership with the Royal Society of New Zealand:

“TVNZ 7 seeks to partner with organisations with a similar interest to ours in creating genuine value for New Zealanders.  The value of applied science and technology to the New Zealand economy is significant and we’re immensely proud to be joining forces with the Royal Society of New Zealand to showcase exciting developments in this arena.

“Our purpose is to inspire New Zealanders on every screen and this partnership with the Royal Society will help us do that.”

The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Dr Di McCarthy, shares this enthusiasm:

“The idea of a brand new television series on TVNZ 7 designed to excite and inform with great stories of science and technology in contemporary New Zealand is thrilling to the Royal Society of New Zealand.

“We especially want to see young New Zealanders become inspired by the fantastic array of opportunities which science and technology offer as a career. We are also looking forward to seeing the benefits of research presented in a way that makes viewers take a second look and say ‘Wow, I didn’t know that’.”

TVNZ 7 will announce details of the new series in the coming months with a plan to launch the series later in 2010.

TVNZ 7 is available on Freeview/TiVo channel 7 and on SKY/Telstra channel 97.

I read in one of yesterday’s papers that Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman had asked TVNZ chairman Sir John Anderson to prepare a plan to potentially separate the commercial and public broadcasting roles of the state broadcaster.

The Government is moving to set up TVNZ 7 as a public service broadcaster, leaving TV One and the other TVNZ channels to focus on making money.

Coleman yesterday confirmed his preference was to turn TVNZ 7 – and possibly TVNZ 6 – into public service-style channels.

Um. Isn’t that already the case?  TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 are already publicly funded, non-commercial channels aren’t they?