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Give Us The Real Figures On Maori TV

Murray McCully
National Party MP

23 December 2004

Give us the real figures on Maori TV

National Party MP Murray McCully says the Minister of Maori Affairs must make the real viewing figures available for the Maori Television Service.

"If, as the Minster suggests, the figures are so good, there should be no reason for him to withhold the statistics that every other television broadcaster uses to measure their ratings.

"The Minister has released is a bizarre collection of numbers that give us no real idea as to whether the Maori Television Service is in fact reaching as wide an audience as he claims.

"Some of Parekura Horomia's figures are meaningless nonsense.

"He has released cumulative audience figures, even though I have been seeking the real ratings under the Official Information Act for some months now.

"The reason the Ombudsman has thus far allowed MTS not to release the real numbers, is that the television channel has yet to achieve the threshold for a measurable audience over 12 consecutive weeks.

"In making his ruling, the Ombudsman has effectively underlined the appalling nature of the MTS numbers.

"Nielsen Media Research says their best practice guideline for release of viewership numbers is 'a threshold of an average cumulative reach of 50 viewers per week'. "The Ombudsman has allowed MTS to resist releasing the ratings because the information sought 'has not met this threshold'.

"The Minister should table the real figures for MTS so all New Zealanders can reach their own, informed conclusions about whether the service is really working," says Mr McCully.

Ends

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