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More NZers than ever watching locally made TV

NZ On Air

21 May 2008

More New Zealanders than ever watching locally made TV

NZ On Air’s annual survey of local content on New Zealand television has found that more New Zealanders than ever are tuning in to locally made TV.

The local content report, released today, found that almost 11,000 hours of local programming screened in 2007 on the six free to air channels. This is the highest level recorded to date and a 5% increase on last year.

NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson says the fact that 19 of the 20 most-viewed programmes screened last year were New Zealand-made is further proof that New Zealanders love seeing themselves on television.

“Although we are in the midst of dramatic technological change, New Zealanders’ desire to see themselves reflected on screen remains undiminished.

“This backs up a poll commissioned by NZ On Air last year which found that most New Zealanders want to see more locally made programmes, especially documentaries and drama.”

For almost 20 years NZ On Air, the main funder of local programming, has tracked the quantity of New Zealand TV programmes on our screens. NZ On Air invests around $70 million into local programmes each year, along with broadcasters and other funding sources.

The information genre was the big winner in 2007 with substantial increases in programming hours, mainly on TV One, Maori Television (MTS) and TV3. This genre ranges from popular factual prime-time series to programmes made for special interest audiences.


For an executive summary of the local content report visit

Quick facts: Local Content Report 2007

* The report mostly uses an 18-hour clock, counting programmes from 6am-midnight. The number of local content hours increased by 529 to 10,784 hours, a 5% increase on 2006 when 10,255 hours were broadcast. This is the highest level recorded to date.

* The percentage of local content on the six main free to air channels rose to 31.8% of the schedule, an increase of 1.5%. (30.3% in 2006.) The increase in local content hours is generally attributed to higher levels of information and news programming. The biggest increase was on TV3, up from 19.33% to 24.12%.

* Local content increased on four of the six channels surveyed in 2007.

* TV One screened the most hours of local content.

Free to air television
* 2,558 hours of the total 10,784 hours were repeat hours.
* The biggest increase in local content hours was on TV3, up from 19.33% to 24.12%.
* Total first-run local content hours increased by 326 hours in 2007 to 8,225 hours. (7,899 in 2006).
* Prime time local content hours decreased by 71 hours to 3726. (3,797 in 2006.)

Percentages of total local content hours (6am-midnight) by channel were:
/ 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / 2004 / 2003 / 2002
TV One / 57% / 53% / 54% / 52% / 55% / 60%
TV2 / 18% / 20% / 23% / 24% / 24% / 25%
TV3 / 24% / 19% / 21% / 22% / 20% / 22%
Prime TV / 12 % / 13% / 9% / Not measured / /
MTS / 80% / 75% / Not measured / / /
C4 / 23% / 22% / Not measured / / /
NB: MTS and C4 do not screen 24/7

Main variations (2007 vs. 2006)

* Children's programming increased by 52 hours to 837 hours. (785 in 2006.) However there was a marked decline in the amount of children's drama. TV2 was the only channel screening children's drama in 2007, with 19 hours. (29 hours of children's drama in 2006.)
* Documentaries lost a little ground in 2007 with 621 hours across six channels compared to 644 hours in 2006. However TV3’s total was well up on the 2006 figure with 82 hours. (32 in 2006.) For the first time Prime TV had local documentary series, screening nine hours. The major decrease was on TV2, which screened 103 documentary hours, 60 hours fewer than in 2006.
* Drama and comedy increased significantly to 816 hours. (631 in 2006.) TV One's hours were up from 79 in 2006 to 93 in 2007. TV2, TV3 and MTS increased their hours as did C4 with a series for the first time.
* Entertainment programming decreased by 100 hours. (1,621 hours compared with 1,721 hours in 2006.) There were major increases on TV One, TV3, and Prime TV and a slight increase on C4. TV2 hours decreased by 48 hours to 81 hours in 2007 and MTS screened 186 fewer hours. (196 hours compared to 382 in 2006.)
* Information is the genre with the biggest increase in local content hours: 1,919 hours compared to 1,505 hours in 2006, an increase of 414 hours.
* Maori programming across three channels (excluding MTS), totalled 308 hours. The levels on TV One and TV2 remain the same while TV3 shows a decrease of 29 hours from 67 in 2006 to 38 hours. There were no Maori programmes on Prime TV or C4.
* News and current affairs hours are up by 179 to 2,961 hours, (2782 hours in 2006), with the major increases on MTS and TV3 and a decrease on Prime TV.
* Sports hours were 1,681 hours, a decrease of 30 hours on the 2006 figure of 1,711. The main increases were on TV3 which screened the Rugby World Cup, and on MTS.

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