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Who owns New Zealand’s Got Talent?

Clare Curran
Broadcasting Spokesperson

26 October 2012

Who owns New Zealand’s Got Talent?

New Zealand taxpayers should be aggrieved at news today that a leading contender in New Zealand’s Got Talent has withdrawn because of restrictive performance conditions placed on her by the privately owned company behind the show, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“NZ on Air funded New Zealand’s Got Talent to the tune of $1.6 million, despite the programme being a commercial venture.

“Now we have Dunedin singer Kylie Price being forced to pull out of the semi-finals due to restrictive contractual conditions that she wasn’t prepared to undertake and would have prevented her from performing elsewhere.

“Television New Zealand has confirmed the conditions were imposed by Imagination Television Ltd, the show’s producers, and that they are applied to the UK-formatted programme universally.

“That just proves how commercial the show is and again raises questions about NZ on Air decisions to fund commercial ‘commercially-attractive’ local programmes.

“It also highlights the extent to which these shows are shaped by factors that have little to do with local content and cultural functions.

“What is most worrying for Kiwi taxpayers is not just the extent to which commercial content is increasingly being funded by NZ on Air, but also the extent to which it has allowed itself to be bureaucratically captured by private media interests.

“The big question is that if taxpayers are funding these programmes, then who has the decision-making power over contracts, and licence?

“Handing over $1.6 million to help TVNZ make a local clone of British broadcaster Simon Cowell's international format is a straight out subsidy to a commercial venture which then has control over the successful talent.

“Kylie Price has decided she’s not having any of it, and I say good on her,” Clare Curran said.


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