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TVNZ trapped by a Catch-22 Charter

TVNZ trapped by a Catch-22 Charter

The Green Party is accusing the Government of financially hobbling TVNZ, with the result that the broadcaster will not be able to fulfil the grand promises of its charter, which comes into effect tomorrow [Saturday.]

"The Government's last-minute decision to split-off its profitable transmission arm will weaken TVNZ, shrink its revenue base and leave it cash-strapped," Green Broadcasting spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

"Effectively, the TVNZ Act has caught the network in a Catch-22 situation from which there appears to be no escape.

"On the one hand it has been handed a charter which requires it to be editorially driven, rather than ratings driven, and to make more local programmes. On the other hand it has shrunk TVNZ's revenue base to the extent that the organisation is more, not less, dependent on advertising."

"There is no point in giving TVNZ a lofty charter to improve the quantity and quality of New Zealand programmes if the organisation doesn't have the revenue to make those programmes.

"It's a simple question," said Ms Kedgley. "If advertising revenue shrinks, or if a future government reduces direct funding, how will TVNZ afford the programmes it is required to make under the charter?"

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