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NZ Keeps Bottom Place On Television League Table

Television broadcasters are calling for increased support for local television production.

The NZ Television Broadcasters Council has released a comparison of Government support for television in five countries. New Zealand continues to perform at the bottom of the league table with Government support amounting to $19 per head of population. (See attached graph).

The United Kingdom, with its fully licence funded BBC, tops the table with the UKStg equivalent of NZ$128 per head of population. Ireland, with a population similar to New Zealand, provides the equivalent of NZ$40 per head, which is over twice the level in New Zealand.

Bruce Wallace, executive director of the NZTBC, said the Council supported the decision by the Government in 2000 to increase television production funding for a three year period. Now that the benefits of that lift were clearly identifitiable on screen a permanent improvement was needed if the Government wanted to meet its goal of increasing key genres of local content on television. He said that current low levels of profitability in the industry meant that it could not support more local content production unilaterally. In particular, children’s television funding required attention if the government wanted more programme hours

Last week the Government-funded television production funding agency, NZOA, released its annual survey of local content on television. NZOA reported an increase in local content levels in prime time but indicated that more was possible if the funding was available.

The Council says that the key to increased local production, particularly in areas such as drama and children’s programmes, was increased and targeted funding by the Government through the NZOA process.


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