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Documentaries on public TV plummet to 8-year low

Documentaries on public TV plummet to eight-year low

The Government's merriment at the findings of the latest local content survey needs to be tempered by some alarming facts, says National Broadcasting Spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"Much of the gain can be attributed to America's Cup coverage. Classed as local content, this event helped to boost sports coverage on TV One by 77% in the last 12 months. There would have been an overall decrease of local content on TV One of 158 hours (5%), had there not been such a major increase in sports.

"There has also been a big drop in the number of first run documentaries on both state channels.

"Despite the Government talking endlessly about how the Charter would increase local documentary levels, last year there was a 15.5% drop in first run documentary hours on TV One, and a 41% drop in documentary hours on TV2. Under this government documentary hours on TV One have dropped a massive 28% (since 1999).

"After all the fuss about the Charter New Zealanders would have expected to see more documentaries not less," says Mrs Rich.

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