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Who will pay for TVNZ's anti-sponsorship move?

Katherine Rich

National Broadcasting Spokesperson

23 July 2000

Who will pay for TVNZ's anti-sponsorship move?

TVNZ's decision to review the sponsorship of programmes could see taxpayers footing the bill, or programmes which are currently sponsored draining resources away from other local programming, says National's Katherine Rich.

Television New Zealand is reviewing whether programmes such as Mitre 10 Changing Rooms, United Travel Getaway, Unichem Medical File and Corbans Taste New Zealand are 'too commercial'.

"Those shows are paid for in part or in full by the sponsor, freeing up the limited broadcasting funds available for other projects," Ms Rich said today.

"The question is whether this quest for cultural purity will mean those popular programmes are pulled from the air. Or will the taxpayer have to foot the bill for them? Or will they suck up money from the limited pool of funding for local productions?

"Oddly enough there's no suggestion that programmes such as Montana Sunday Theatre or Qantas Assignment should lose their commercial patronage.

"Could that possibly be because the latter programmes are popular with Helen Clark, Marian Hobbs and the rest of the decaf latte and cheese brigade, while the other shows are just popular with hundreds of thousands of less-elite New Zealanders.

"What makes the entire review bizarre is that TVNZ is a commercial broadcaster. While this might take a corporate brand out of the title of some shows there are still ad breaks within virtually all programmes shown on TVNZ. And of course they now show 'infotainment programmes' - which are hours on end of nothing but commercials.

"Consistency? I think not," Katherine Rich said.


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