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TVNZ Prepares To Launch Next Digital Channel

TVNZ Prepares To Launch Next Digital Channel

Six months after launching its first digital channel TVNZ 6, TVNZ is shortly to launch its second digital channel. Advertising-free digital channel TVNZ 7 will launch on Sunday 30 March 2008 with an event and live broadcast from Parliament.

TVNZ 7 is New Zealand's first local free-to-air factual channel. It will screen a broad range of news, current affairs, documentary and commentary shows.

TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis says that TVNZ 7 will have a distinctive New Zealand flavour. Freed from the constraints of commercial scheduling, it will offer New Zealanders more access to fresh and engaging local content in prime time.

"We want TVNZ 7 to be a place where New Zealanders come to be informed and to form their views on the issues of the day. We want TVNZ 7 to be a place that expresses the diversity of perspectives in New Zealand today.

"Around 70 percent of the channel's content will be locally-produced, and around 40 percent of that will be programming made specifically for TVNZ 7. News will make up 30 percent of the schedule."

TVNZ 7 will launch live from Parliament with The Kingmaker Debate – the first political debate this election year between the minor party leaders who will be crucial to the political landscape after the election later this year.

"As well as one-off TV events like The Kingmaker Debate, our commissioned local shows centre around providing New Zealanders with a forum to express their views and opinions on issues relevant to them. This is something that foreign news and factual channels cannot do," says Ellis.

Two new programmes on TVNZ 7 will be Back Benches, a weekly political review show, hosted by Wallace Chapman, and Media7, a multi-media news and commentary series hosted by Russell Brown.

The significant news component of the TVNZ 7 schedule extends the TVNZ News and Current Affairs team's commitment to providing the best news to New Zealanders across multiple platforms, anywhere, anytime.

Mr Ellis says that news on TVNZ 7 will be complementary to TVNZ's flagship news product ONE News at 6, and the late night news bulletin Tonight.

"The news on TVNZ 7 will run at different times to the ONE News broadcasts to fit in with New Zealanders' busy lives. There will be ten minute bulletins called TVNZ News Now, which will go live on the hour, every hour, as well as a one hour news bulletin at 8pm, TVNZ News at 8."

TVNZ News Now will be fronted by the TVNZ 7 news team, which includes journalists new to TV, as well as some well-known ONE News reporters. TVNZ News at 8 will be hosted by Tonight's Greg Boyed and newcomer Geraldine Knox.

TVNZ launched its first digital channel, TVNZ 6, on 30 September 2007. TVNZ 7 will be available on Freeview from 12 noon on Sunday 30 March.


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