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Support for Locally Made Television High

1 December 2005

Support for Locally Made Television Higher Than Ever

NZ On Air’s latest research report shows New Zealanders are whole-heartedly in favour of locally produced television programmes with more than three quarters thinking there should be a quota for free to air television.

The report, the NZ On Air Public Information and Opinion Monitor for 2005, prepared for the agency by research company TNS, has been produced every year since 1992.

“New Zealand documentaries are still the favourites with 90% of respondents telling us they are the most frequently watched programmes in their households,” said NZ On Air acting Chief Executive, Bernard Duncan.

“But this time we’re seeing a big increase in people watching locally made special interest (71%), drama (64%), comedy (64%) and children’s (57%) programmes. The most watched and enjoyed programmes included What Now?, Intrepid Journeys, Explorers, and the perennial favourite, Country Calendar.”

The NZ On Air Public Information and Opinion Monitor also measures public attitudes to local content in a broad context.

“The majority of people agree that free to air television should be required to screen a set amount of New Zealand made programmes, in particular documentaries, children’s and young persons’, and special interest programmes,” said Mr Duncan.

“Just over three quarters believe that seeing ourselves on television and hearing our stories helps to develop our cultural identity, and two thirds want more New Zealand music played on radio.”

This year’s research asked about Pacific peoples’ preferences, and digital television.

“Pacific people are more likely to strongly support a wide range of local programming,” said Mr Duncan. “In particular they enjoy Pacific Island radio stations, children’s and comedy programmes, and New Zealand music videos.”

Respondents showed an enthusiasm for free to air digital television services. Support for buying a set top box that would enable access to a range of free channels is high, with around three quarters of people willing to purchase the equipment.

Over half would be willing to pay between $50 and $100, a third would spend up to $250 and one in ten would not pay more than $49.

“It is very pleasing to see the level of support for free to air digital television services, especially when digital broadcasting is developing in New Zealand,” said Mr Duncan.

ENDS

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