Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: About Campbell Live

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  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But huge parts aren't - and there's a massive chunk of audience which is vital to the public service mission. In particular, you could spin off the non-public service aspects and keep the other bits - although I'm very wary of the kind of purism that leads to public service broadcasting no-one watches. Apart from anything else, there's a bunch of historical content that it would be a sin to flog off.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I totally understand what you are saying Dylan. TV3 believes that the only way to make money is to sell 15 second advertising slots in their broadcasts and the value of those slots is determined by viewer numbers as measured by Neilson ratings.

    I will repeat myself – that is dinosaur thinking. Classic not-to-bright managers failing to understand that media has changed. Like cutting costs and improving efficiencies in your floppy disc manufacturing plant.

    You're definitely not wrong, but they're trapped somewhat. The business model in which they exist is very simple... Companies pay to put ads on, the cost of those ads is determined by the number of people watching (or at least the number assumed to be watching based on Neilsen's magic boxes).

    Finding new ways to turn their content into cash is much easier said than done.

    There are ultimately three options - 1) Adverstising, 2) Sponsorship/Product Placement/Native Advertising, 3) Subscription

    Number 1, Advertising, is simple and indeed it's used to fund the cost of operating a streaming service online and may return a little profit, but at the scale and rates that exist it's not sustainable

    Number 2, Native Advertising (or sponsorship or product placement), probably has the best prospect because value can be negotiated on a broader basis. Rather than just paying $x per view an advertiser is paying for the full association. But viewers quickly get hostile to what they feel to corporatisation of content and in a News and Current Affairs context it can become editorially complex.

    Number 3, Subscriptions, is the best option on large scale, but doesn't work well at small scale. And it requires that the cost and revenue be averaged across a broad range of content/products. Also people are pretty unwilling to put their money where their mouth is.

    Just look at Twitter - one of the most successful and disruptive communication technologies in recent memory, but it is still struggling to find a way to generate revenue - the best option it's found? Let companies inject ads into our Twitter stream.

    It's easy to say they should be able to turn goodwill and critical popularity into revenue, but that's not how their business model works, and it's hard to see how they might develop a new model to exploit those things anytime soon - no other broadcast I'm aware of, anywhere, has managed to figure it out.

    But you could look at HBO and it's critical success with John Olliver's show. They can devote money to that show because it's effectively subsidised by the wildly successful content that they package alongside it. But that's a pretty unique scenario. It's this reason that HBO, Showtime, Netflix and others have been able to take risks that networks and basic cable haven't been able to. Their successes fund their failures in a very predictable way.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    You’d think from reading the comments on PA that everyone in NZ believes Dirty Politics

    Which parts of it do you think are untrue? To my knowledge no-one has ever shown Nicky Hager to be anything but totally rigorous. All his material is backed by a verifiable paper trail.
    And that includes the book that embarrassed Helen Clark’s government, Seeds of Distrust .

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I thought it was both. “What are the legitimate stories of genuine broad public inerest the other bastards aren’t telling, or telling well and in-depth?” Not only sounds like a good editorial imperative, but identifying a gap in the market you can fill.

    The rest of the country had lost interest in Christchurch’s problems. Campbell used to actually get complaints about doing so much on Christchurch.

    One of those times where important is not the same as popular.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Maybe the whole issue needs to go to a Royal Commission.

    ... or a binding referendum - any of those cheap little suckers coming up soon, where we could 'flag' our desires to the Gov't?
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    we need global worming...

    And that’s part of the bigger issue that broadcasters are facing now. People are choosing different ways to consume content.

    But it is the content people want - not the ads - seems like the parasite is in danger of killing the host - symbiosis ain't s'posed to work that way...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Double,

    I'm depressed to see Campbell described as "lefty" in so many places. That may be news to Helen Clark. He's certainly not on Team Key but NEITHER SHOULD HE BE. (Sorry that damn caps lock keeps sticking.) Campbell's cultural background is inner-city liberal, but he's impeccably apolitical, happy to go after either the left or the right. In other words, he's a good journalist. There's a false equivalence in operation that sees Campbell as the mirror of the Henry Hosking Hydra, but an objective look at his record reveals nothing more than a journo doing his job.

    I'm inclined to sympathise with Russell's notion that maybe Campbell's audience doesn't watch telly at 7pm anymore (mea culpa) but if your own channel isn't supporting you then it's not hard to organise a fait accompli. It's the politics of this that gets you down; the creeping takeover of media by politically motivated interests. We've avoided the worst of it in New Zealand for a long time but no more.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2012 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This just in from Mediaworks:

    CLARIFICATION – Jono and Ben and Campbell Live

    There is on-going speculation that the Jono and Ben show is being considered as a possible replacement for Campbell Live. This seems to be based on a fabrication by the Herald and has unfairly led to significant negativity towards Jono Pryor, Ben Boyce and the rest of the Jono and Ben team.

    For the avoidance of doubt, MediaWorks Corporate Counsel, Alex Nicholson makes the following statement:

    "The statement in John Drinnan’s articles in relation to the Jono and Ben show, which is attributed to “TV3 bosses”, is a complete fabrication and is not based on fact. Jono and Ben has never once been mentioned in any MediaWorks management forum, discussion or document as a possible replacement for Campbell Live. ”

    You will note that statement comes from Mediaworks' corporate counsel .

    Sounds like things are getting legal up in there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    Here's a meeting to go to straight after Campbell Live tonight in Chchch
    (or watch CL on demand later) - hell, they'll probably be there!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    ...and a further reminder of things Chchch-related
    Keep Our Assets needs help here...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to Lilith __,

    Which parts of it do you think are untrue? To my knowledge no-one has ever shown Nicky Hager to be anything but totally rigorous

    I tried to carefully word my comment but I knew I would never be careful enough.

    What I'm saying is some people disbelieve Dirty Politics, some people vote National and some people watch Seven Sharp. Very few of those people comment here but they clearly make up a good chunk of the population.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    I'm interested in the calls that I'm seeing here for a "real" public broadcaster. It just feels a bit like people thinking that the grass-is-greener.

    Overseas there is the BBC, ABC, PBS and probably numerous other examples of good publicly-owned broadcasters. While they all produce good content I don't understand why a body like NZ On Air can't replace the work that these public broadcasters do by funding appropriate shows.

    I would much rather have NZ On Air funded appropriately to allow a variety of broadcasters to make good current affairs shows rather than have tax dollars spent on the TV One newsroom.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ken Double,

    JC - journalism resurrected...

    ...but an objective look at his record reveals nothing more than a journo doing his job.

    So true Mr D...
    Which is a rare thing these days, that and having somewhere that will run it to maximum effect...
    If the worst comes to the worst could someone create 'video-plaques' that pop-up on screen acknowledging history - "This slot was once graced by a fine piece of daily journalism - Campbell Live 2005-2015"...

    Unlike the stupid floating Facebook,etc links bar The Press has recently added which renders the space bar command of 'screen down' useless, as it obliterates the top 3 lines of type - why woud ya do that?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Double, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Unlike the stupid floating Facebook,etc links bar The Press has recently added which renders the space bar command of ‘screen down’ useless, as it obliterates the top 3 lines of type – why woud ya do that?

    I'm afraid social media has completely addled the minds of marketers. I apologise on behalf of a benighted industry that has collectively lost its scone.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2012 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to James George,

    I cannot understand what all the fuss is about – talk about do as I say not as I do. The very same media peeps n hangers-on who coagulate in spots like this spent most of september 2014 chasing down stories about dotcom minutiae – the sleazier the better. No mention of state house sales or any other of the issues about keycorp’s corrupt government and their policies.

    It's funny you should say this. Campbell Live isn't perfect and has had its dud stories, but my impression is that it's been repeatedly 'punished' by the political wing of the government (through refusing to provide interviews, etc) for daring to be critical at times, and while not a complete excuse, this inability to get access probably hasn't helped with its ratings.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    I don’t understand why a body like NZ On Air can’t replace the work that these public broadcasters do by funding appropriate shows.

    Because under its current model, commercial broadcasters decide which shows get made. That's what needs to change.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    What I’m saying is some people disbelieve Dirty Politics, some people vote National and some people watch Seven Sharp.

    and their broadcasting needs are already being well served.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There is on-going speculation that the Jono and Ben show is being considered as a possible replacement for Campbell Live. This seems to be based on a fabrication by the Herald

    I hadn't heard that rumour but I've independently been wondering if MediaWorks could field popular 7pm slot show, masquerading as analysis of current affairs, by pulling together some of the half-decent comedians it already has affiliations with. I wouldn't expect it to be great in a journalistic sense, but there's already precedent for doing more or less this, with The Project on Channel Ten, which is overloaded with comedians on the payroll thanks to Melbourne's comedy scene. The format would surely appeal to much of the audience currently watching Seven Sharp.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime,

    I'm reminded of this scene from Charlie Brooker's amazing satire, Black Mirror (language NSFW)

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to izogi,

    The format would surely appeal to much of the audience currently watching Seven Sharp.

    If you can't beat em, join em? Surely not all television has to sink to that level of brain-dead drivel?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1378 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    I don’t understand why a body like NZ On Air can’t replace the work that these public broadcasters do by funding appropriate shows.

    A potential problem with piecemeal, show by show funding, is that it's hard for talent to develop and expertise to build up. Such funding is inherently insecure and short term. It's an issue in many sectors where the product is complex and cultural and improves with practice (see for example science funding).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    How much longer will broadcast TV plague us?

    You've got tens of millions of dollars being spent maintaining transmitters on hilltops, dishes on studio roofs and leasing satellite transponders to do something that can be setup on AWS with credit card money. Just in order to benefit from the inertia of viewers watching a channel that's prominent in their EPG.

    A future left-wing government would be well advised to give TV3 a little kick on its way. A combination of local media ownership restrictions and increased spectrum charges should do the job nicely.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • wendyf, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    I do. Watch Campbell Live every night. Recorded on MySky.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    I don’t understand why a body like NZ On Air can’t replace the work that these public broadcasters do by funding appropriate shows.

    A potential problem with piecemeal, show by show funding, is that it’s hard for talent to develop and expertise to build up. Such funding is inherently insecure and short term. It’s an issue in many sectors where the product is complex and cultural and improves with practice (see for example science funding).

    The much greater problem, as Sacha notes above, is getting the programmes broadcast. Nothing can be funded without a broadcast commitment, and broadcasters won't commit to screening something, especially in prime time, that doesn't suit their commercial needs.

    One effect of this is the shutting out of older viewers, who are of little interest to advertisers. They were the people most disenfranchised when TVNZ 7 closed down.

    There actually is no substitute for a public broadcaster.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

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