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TVNZ Charter off to disastrous start


TVNZ Charter off to disastrous start

Ratings figures show that TVNZ Charter programmes are already losing viewers, says National's Broadcasting spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"It makes a mockery of claims by Labour that the Charter wouldn't dent TVNZ's popularity. In 2001 Marian Hobbs said:

"TVNZ while remaining commercial will still show programmes that people want to watch. Indeed we want the audience to grow. In turn, this will make the outlet an attractive proposition for advertisers."

"According to today's NBR though, viewers deserted TV1 in their droves last weekend when it used Charter logic in its 8.30pm Saturday slot. AC Nielsen surveys estimate that just 3% of the audience tuned in to TV 1's Festival documentary series last week. This is a miserable market share of 11%, less than half the normal numbers.

"Trying to fulfil the Charter's requirements by playing arty programmes in the Saturday night graveyard slot isn't working. It's estimated the poor ratings will have cost TVNZ about $100,000 in ad revenue compared with its average rating.

"There is now less current affairs on TVNZ than there was two years ago. The popular New Zealand music show M2 has been scrapped, and we have to put up with cheesy self-promoting ads for the Charter.

"All we have is a couple of new programmes and a retro colour scheme reminiscent of a 1970's communist television channel.

"The Labour-United Government cannot accept that it does not rule the remote controls of New Zealand. Make the programming too high brow and most Kiwis will switch over to something more interesting," said Mrs Rich.

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