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Local Content on TV Still Going Strong

3 May 2005

Local Content on TV Still Going Strong

New NZ On Air research confirms a strong commitment to locally-produced television programmes from the nation’s broadcasters. The NZ On Air 2004 Local Content Report, which has just been published, found that 32.6% of the programmes shown last year on TV One, TV2 and TV3 were New Zealand productions.

“It’s been a great year for local television,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jo Tyndall. “The three free-to-air channels have managed to maintain the strong standard they set last year, equalling the local content level we saw in the report for 2003.”

The Local Content Report, which NZ On Air has produced every year since 1990, measures television screened between 6am and midnight, in line with the measurement base agreed by the Television Local Content Group set up at the end of 2002.

“TV One, TV2 and TV3 have all effectively met or exceeded the targets they agreed to for 2004,” Ms Tyndall said. “TV One screened 51.6% New Zealand programmes against a target of 52%, and TV2 beat its target of 19%, showing 24.3% local content. TV3’s total was 21.6%, against a target of 20%.

“It’s a very pleasing result,” she said, “and it indicates there is strong support from the networks, and also the Government, from whom much of the production funding comes.

“Our audience research consistently tells us, quite clearly, that people think local programmes are important for developing our sense of cultural identity as New Zealanders, and this report confirms that a good proportion of those programmes are there on screen where those people are watching.”

Significant findings in the report include: A 59 hour increase in documentaries over 2004 A drop in children’s programming by 115 hours 23% of the locally made programmes were funded by NZ On Air

“On the face of it, the fall in local children’s programmes is a concern,” Ms Tyndall said, “but it can be attributed to a change in the way children’s programmes are presented.

“Traditionally a significant proportion of children’s hours have been due to a focus on linking shows such as What Now? and Sticky TV, which have a high overseas programme component. Last year there was a move to produce and screen more stand-alone children’s programmes within children’s peak times, and of course, that comes at a price, with higher production costs resulting in reduced volume.

“NZ On Air is always looking for diversity in New Zealand programming, and while this report doesn’t show significant change from last year, we think that overall, the local content levels achieved by the broadcasters for 2004 give us a great deal to be happy about, and proud of,” she said.


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