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TVNZ Rejects National's Claims

24 June 2004

TVNZ today strongly refuted comments from National’s Broadcasting spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu in regards to its alleged “anti-competitive behaviour”.

“We went after the ABC and NBC deals because we are ambitious about our news and current affairs offering and we needed the extra news product for our two channels, especially short segment news items which we currently don’t have,” said Chief Executive Officer Ian Fraser.

“We are committed to bringing the best in news and current affairs from around New Zealand and the world to our viewers and to do that it is only right we consider any form of programme supply.

“We intend to put all the new product we are acquiring to good use. TVNZ does not buy programming to have it gather dust on a shelf.

“TVNZ negotiated in good faith, and on the basis of pre-existing programme acquisition relationships (not dissimilar to the basis on which TV3 added The Simpsons to its other Fox output deal product), for the ABC and NBC news deals. We succeeded on that basis.”

Mr Fraser added that if owning the rights to both ABC and NBC was anti-competitive then, logically, TV3 must have been acting anti-competitively in 2000 and 2001 when it owned the rights to both ABC and CBS.

“For the record, TVNZ screens three times as much news and current affairs as TV3 and our ABC package is significantly bigger than the ABC package TV3 had.”

ENDS


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