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Local Content Report Foreshadows Digital Impact

Local Content Report Foreshadows Digital Impact

The inclusion of Prime Television in NZ On Air’s latest research into local content on New Zealand television foreshadows the impact of digital TV on local content and the New Zealand television environment, according to NZ On Air Chair, Don Hunn.

NZ On Air has conducted an annual survey of the local content appearing on New Zealand television screens since 1990. The Local Content Report measures the level and make-up of local content programming on free-to-air television networks.

This year, for the first time, the Report was extended to include an additional channel – Prime Television, which added 603 hours (or 9%) to the local content broadcast.

Don Hunn said next year’s Report would show even more changes, with the inclusion of Maori Television and C4. In later years the transformation to the Report’s scope and content will continue, as digital broadcasting is fully realised in New Zealand.

“With digital broadcasting on the horizon we can expect more free-to-air channels, which will mean a broader range of programmes and therefore more opportunities for local content. However, it also presents a challenge for everyone working in this sector,” said Mr Hunn.

“Local content will always be a fragile commodity in a market the size of New Zealand’s – affected by economic cycles, advertising trends, and technological and policy changes.

“The challenge is to ensure that the faces and voices of New Zealand are seen and heard, through public interest programming and across the proliferation of new platforms that digital broadcasting is likely to deliver.

“This challenge remains central to NZ On Air’s mission, and we will continue to play a vital part in bringing local content to our television screens, wherever people are watching” Mr Hunn said.

NZ On Air produces the Local Content Report annually to contribute to understanding of, and responsiveness to, this increasingly complex and fragmented broadcast marketplace.

Voluntary targets for local programmes are established by the Television Local Content Group, which includes representatives of TVNZ, TV3, Prime Television, the Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA), and NZ On Air. The Maori Television Service joined the Group midway through 2005.

It sets targets in four genre groupings – children's programmes; drama and comedy (including children’s drama); documentary, information and entertainment; and news, current affairs and sport.


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