Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


TVNZ's Sky Subsidy Needs Explanation

New Zealand taxpayers are giving a substantial subsidy to media baron Rupert Murdoch's Sky TV to deliver a service which only 15% of taxpayers will be able to see, National MP Murray McCully said today.

Mr McCully said TV3 had been on the brink of signing a contract to provide footage of Parliamentary question time for broadcast by Sky TV.

"With considerable set-up costs, extra resources, and all of the expensive requirements which are associated with television broadcasting the service would have involved a significant payment to TV3," Mr McCully said.

"However, at the last minute TVNZ chair Dr Ross Armstrong offered to provide the service to Sky, and TVNZ management negotiated a package which delivered it for free.

"The only people who will be able to receive the service are those in the 177,000 households which have paid a $500 joining fee and a minimum $35 a month subscription to receive Sky.

"So New Zealand taxpayers as owners of TVNZ are subsidising Rupert Murdoch's Sky TV to provide a commercial service which they can only receive on a subscription basis. Many taxpayers will want to know why Dr Armstrong directed TVNZ to enter into a deal like that.

"The answer is to be found in the secret negotiations which Dr Armstrong has been spearheading with Sky TV. As was revealed last week, those negotiations have been heading towards TVNZ abandoning digital plans of it's own and transmitting TV1 and TV2 via the Sky digital platform. The problem is that this strategy would see Sky become what this weeks Listener aptly describes as 'gatekeepers to the digital domain in this country". But, more on that later.

"I understand that Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs was kept informed of these developments. Did she approve of this substantial subsidy to Sky? Did she ask whether the board of TVNZ had explicitly agreed to carry the cost of giving this service to Sky for them to sell to their subscribers? Or did she just have no idea what she was being told?

"Personally, I think option three is quite credible."

"I believe Minister Hobbs and Chairman Armstrong have some explaining to do," Murray McCully said.


A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on along with an archive of previous releases.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election