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Free to Air TV Rejects UF's Watershed Policy

30 August 2005

Free to Air TV rejects United Future's Watershed Policy

The industry group representing free television channels says that United Future's policy (announced today) to start adult programmes at 9.30 pm instead of 8.30 pm will upset many viewers.

The New Zealand Television Broadcasters' Council says that over 90% of New Zealanders know that adult programmes start at 8.30 pm and should be allowed to decide what they want to watch in the privacy of their own homes.

The TBC executive Director, Bruce Wallace said that broadcasters provide viewer information so they can make informed viewing choices for themselves and their family. All programmes are classified and classification warnings are provided in front of programmes, keys over each segment and listings information that includes ratings are all done in order to allow viewers to choose their programming based on their own tastes.

Mr Wallace said that many popular programmes were screened at 8.30 pm and the United Future change would deprive many New Zealanders of their favourite shows because they would not stay up later in the evening. He said that "there is ample evidence that most New Zealanders like to end their viewing with the news at 10.30 pm after watching a mainstream programme designed for adults."

He said that a Government Task Force into violence on television had reported in 2004 and all the recommendations relating to free to air television had been implemented by the industry.

ENDS

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