Stifled report didn't save TVNZ7
Mon, 26 Nov 2012 9:45a.m.
TVNZ and the Government have been accused of keeping the increasing popularity and awareness of TVNZ7 under wraps before the public service channel's axing.
The survey, carried out in May last year, has now been made available, but was not enough to stop TVNZ7 being scrapped in July and replaced with a delayed feed of TV One.
It showed 91 percent of people who had heard of TVNZ7 believed it was important to New Zealand and awareness of the channel grew from 32 percent in September 2008 to 74 percent in May 2011. It was being watched weekly by more than half of all Freeview households, even before the digital switchover.
Lobby group Save TVNZ7 successfully sought the report through the Official Information Act.
If the survey had been made public it may have influenced the entire debate about the channel's closure, spokesman Myles Thomas told NZ Newswire.
"It makes you wonder whether there was any other motive to keep it from the public view."
But TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richard says the survey was not released as it contained information the company considered commercially sensitive, despite TVNZ7 being non-commercial.
The report went to then broadcasting minister Jonathan Coleman and was later included in TVNZ's annual report.
TVNZ was under no obligation to release the survey at the time as it could not lobby or appear to lobby the Government, she said.
Dr Coleman announced TVNZ7's closure in 2011, saying it only had a weekly audience of 207,000.
However, he later admitted the figure, which he said was provided by officials, had been calculated wrongly.
Labour broadcasting spokeswoman Clare Curran said the debate around the closure would have been very different if the report had been available.
Around 700,000 people were watching the channel each week, she said.
"If New Zealanders had been aware and if the government had owned up to the extent of TVNZ7's audience it would have been a lot harder to justify canning its funding."
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27/11/2012 7:25:11 p.m.
Government representative, Honorable Prime Minister and Successful businessman Mr John Key would have retained a pinch more respect if TVNZ7 was saved. Where can we find the balance sheet now @ loss/gain. Thank you.
26/11/2012 11:46:41 p.m.
I was a supporter of the Save TVNZ7 campaign solely for keeping the only decent station on Freeview. In the last year we have lost ch 4 ,6,7. Is it worth going digital when all the decent channels are being cut. I have always voted for National but not any more due to the lies about Kim Dotcom , TVNZ7, John Banks and the cup of coffee episode and broken promises from this government. Winston looks good at the moment.
26/11/2012 3:56:18 p.m.
....and Rachel Smalley said at the w/end that funding for The Nation had not yet been confirmed for next year. That could be yet another good programme going down the tubes...! Seems that anything good is under threat whereas gambling and lies rule ok.
26/11/2012 3:49:05 p.m.
I wasnt a apathetic voter, I chose not to vote. I really have no faith in our politics anymore. Einstein said, insanity is doing the same the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. Election after election neither party has managed to invigorate bottom up economics. We still rely on milk production, as a economic value, much of whose profit, is now flowing off offshore in the 4 big Aussie banks. So while the milk may cause a tremor in the economic statistics, its now not flowing into the community. We cant compete with China on wages and production and we are failing behind Australia. The demise of TVN7 is just endemic of our myoptic party behaviour, their funders. NZ is all but bankrupted, wait till the price of milk collapses and see what happens then.
26/11/2012 2:18:09 p.m.
TVNZ will have known Coleman was using the incorrect figures and elected to do nothing. To avoid directly contradicting their minister, they could have leaked information to other media; which TVNZ know how to do. So why then did they do nothing? There is more to this that TVNZ aren't talking about so I wouldn't put all of the blame onto the minister until we know the full facts.
26/11/2012 2:11:22 p.m.
@Greg, the reality is we are all docile. If you want change you need to encourage others to vote. It was only the apathy of the voters that let national in through the back door. Oh and that smirk a few misconstrued as a smile.
26/11/2012 10:36:33 a.m.
This is just another nail in Nationals election coffin. Does anyone really thing they are acting for anyone but a select few of their party funders. They have aleinated a large section of NZ already with their stick approach to punishing the poor and marginalised, especially single parent mothers. Its a tired broken economic record, that fails. They want us like nice docial cows, easily to be milk and fleeced.
26/11/2012 10:34:38 a.m.
And why would you think they would make any decision based on the public's wishes? Like when has it ever happened? Even programme scheduling has more to do with advertisers wishes then the viewing public.
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