Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Moving on

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  • Farmer Green, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    when more people apparently are interested in watching repeats of some Irish drag queen telling fanny gags?

    And , increasing numbers don't have or don't watch TV?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Damian Christie,

    the digital platform in NZ

    so Freeview is a platform?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Sacha,

    so Freeview is a platform?

    Freeview is a platform yes, but if you're referring to my earlier response, no it wasn't set up to provide public service broadcasting. It was set up to enable the switch off of analogue. TVNZ 6 and 7 were put in place to try and encourage people to switch over, because with just the existing channels you were getting on your analogue set, why would you?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    I think it could be possible to make an even lower budget version of Media [3/7] without sacrificing at least it's core ethos, but that's still not zero budget and an on-demand platform (which is what all online platforms are essentially) like YouTube isn't going to attract nearly as many viewers.

    Without the viewers it's hard to offer value to an advertiser or sponsor. And also without being "television" it could be harder to attract some guests.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Why should Three and NZoA keep putting money into (excellent) local dramas and comedies like Hounds, Harry, and The Almighty Johnsons, when more people apparently are interested in watching repeats of some Irish drag queen telling fanny gags?

    I don't always think they should if nobody's watching them, but I'm curious to to know if the Irish drag queen demographic for so many broadcasters is what it is because that's what the majority of kiwis actually want to watch, or if it's merely because it's the most marketable, loosely spending, low-risk demographic at which to programme and sell advertising.

    When the commercial criteria for funding a production doesn't necessarily match with the criteria and numbers of people who'd view it, or if there's some other general benefit that might not naturally go directly back to a commercial broadcaster, I think there's still a good case for a public broadcasting model.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Deborah,

    1. It’s not in NZOA’s current remit to use it’s money to set up a platform.

    You’re right. But … it could be. I reckon it should, or the NZOA funding model shut down in favour of a public broadcaster.

    People – most people – don’t sit down and watch YouTube on their TV in the evening.

    Again, you’re right. And maybe that’s the way it’ll always be. But I’m coming to believe it’s a case of when, not if. It’s an incredibly cheap way to broadcast. You can’t say it’s not popular. Given the choice it’s what under 25s opt for.
    There’d be ramifications around ‘exclusivity’ of broadcast rights under the current agreements. The commercial channels NZOA subsidises with content would hate it. They’d probably spit the dummy.
    The upside, though: NZ could get great international exposure. And we'd be able to watch the content we've funded whenever we like, forever.
    But yeah, ideally NZ should have a freeview channel a bit like TVNZ7. More tinkering, or radical changes, at TVNZ? I’m not so sure.
    I don’t believe a stand-alone freeview channel would need to involve a lot of additional expense if it was a BBC4-type (commissioning programming) rather than BBC1 model.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Iching for change…
    Sorry to hear you are moving on, Russell,
    or ‘rejuvenating your time’ or somesuch,
    as the Government might say.

    hopefully you are not comletely
    thrown out on the street

    But you are in good company,
    and perhaps the move will give you time to …

    so…

    I guess change is the only constant in life…

    Past time NZOA got their own platform

    The NZOA model seems, to me, to be an incomplete arc.
    It invests large amounts of money into helping creating content, often quality content, of lasting significance, useful & illuminating cultural record, etc
    But retains no interest in it’s longevity (I know remit – but that’s where the job-half-done bit comes in…)
    Much gets lost behind paywalls (Heartland TV), some gets to NZ on Film, but where does the rest go?
    Virtually into the aether – access gone – seems such a waste.
    I know there is a Media 7 You Tube channel – but how long is that guaranteed for – You Tube could start charging or disappear…
    and what happens to the Media 3 Facebook page – just a ‘Status’ change? or could TV3 make you take it down?
    it seems fraught…
    still they say it’s best to be thrown into choppy waters, less surface impact damage when there’s a bit of chaos when crossing the border between media (air/water)…

    Is there a ‘Best of Media7/3’ DVD, for future media courses around the country, and other punters?

    I suppose GCSB and NSA have copies somewhere….
    Now that would be a very good use of their server capacity!

    Meanwhile, on other platforms…. Luckily for mediaphiles Mediawatch is still there, has broad shoulders, and does excellent work!

    As an afterthought, does the show’s demise mean you can publicise your viewer numbers again, to put the lie to Coleman’s assertions in that area – especially as other ministers are currently being shown to have ‘gamed the system’, and worse perhaps…
    Nick Smith takes the cake, and eats it, doesn’t he?

    </all-over-the-place>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    savour(y)ing the memories…

    Should we express our disappointment, in the strongest terms, in a message to TV3? I will miss the sausage rolls but that is not the real issue.

    In this context that could be taken as a PAS-try…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    The importance of strengthening/rebuilding quality public free to air broadcasting was specifically mentioned by Grant Robertson in the recent leadership contest, but not sure how influential that view will be under the new lineup, as I think he and Clare Curran were the main proponents. .

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    But retains no interest in it’s longevity (I know remit – but that’s where the job-half-done bit comes in…)
    Much gets lost behind paywalls (Heartland TV), some gets to NZ on Film, but where does the rest go?

    That would be NZ On Screen :-)

    The programmes remain the property of the producers, although NZ On Air gets to claw back some of the funding if, for example, they sell overseas. What was discovered with NZOS is that some of the older contracts were a mess: rights were unclear or some actors had prohibitively high residuals written into their contracts. Some producers didn't realise what rights they owned. The two staff who handle clearances do amazing work, but it helps that it's a non-commercial, public-good use.

    The government smoothed the way for TVNZ to get programmes for Heartland in the same amendment bill that abolished the Charter.

    Top Shelf Productions does own both Media7 and Media3, and has its own on-demand platform via Choice TV. We will have a think about what best to do with the archive.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Hilary: it will almost certainly be a central part of the Labour's new policy platform, not least because Keir and I have tried hard to make sure it gets in there and stays in there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The importance of strengthening/rebuilding quality public free to air broadcasting was specifically mentioned by Grant Robertson in the recent leadership contest, but not sure how influential that view will be under the new lineup, as I think he and Clare Curran were the main proponents. .

    I'd be surprised if they backed off the public broadcasting policy. They should sell it to voters over 50 as a policy in their interests.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    And what I came here to say: sorry to hear this Russell, and I hope something equivalently neat comes along soon. You did good work.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Mostly because the attempts have been too timid — not bold enough or far enough to embed themselves firmly enough. I very much agree about need to go beyond TV.

    TVNZ6 & 7 had the content about right. The fatal weakness was the Clark Govt’s Blairist belief that 6 & 7 would eventually have the best of both public and commercial worlds, which was reflected in the funding being guaranteed for only for 5 years. What happened instead was that public broadcasting wasn’t future-proofed against the electoral cycle.

    Much of this timidness, I suspect, was attributable to the Business Roundtable-driven ‘winter of discontent’ early on in the Clark Govt’s tenure. What kind of a nation have we come to when even moderate policy platforms are shouted down as raging Stalinism? The healthcare debate over in the States is a case in point.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    This platform thing? It's basically video on demand plus the ability to have curated channels if you want to sit in front of it and watch a logical, time appropriate sequence of programming, right?

    Isn't that Youtube?

    And if not, couldn't NZOA either layer on Youtube, work with Google (who would, I'm sure, love the extra content) or in the worst case throw down a few mil on a clone (with ads to defer the AWS bill).

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

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The programmes remain the property of the producers

    I've never understood this. Independent producers put up creative ideas, and time developing them, so some shared ownership is fair. But I'd have thought putting up the entire production budget- and a little bit of profit for the production company - would give NZOA considerably more ownership than 'first screening' rights.
    Anyone know if this is how BBC4 works?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Hilary: it will almost certainly be a central part of the Labour’s new policy platform, not least because Keir and I have tried hard to make sure it gets in there and stays in there.

    thumbs up and hoping for a fair wind :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Thanks. Will be interesting to see who the new opposition spokesperson will be and how senior.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    You’re right. But … it could be. I reckon it should, or the NZOA funding model shut down in favour of a public broadcaster.

    I think you're missing my point. The same Government that decides NZOA remit is worth changing should hopefully decide that TVNZ should be more than just a profit making enterprise. Otherwise, let's flick it and start over, sure. But without that change in legislation requiring the TVNZ Board on downwards to only make money and give it back to the Government, there's no reason why TVNZ 7 couldn't have continued, subsidised by the profits from ONE and 2. Likewise, TVNZ U might've continued too if it was seen as a platform for younger talent to develop, and was roughly breaking even/costing little.

    I say again, why waste money recreating the infrastructure and expertise that we already have sitting on Hobson St.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Oliver Sealy,

    That sucks, Russell.

    If you're anything like me, then you probably resigned yourself to the reality that all productions can summarily end long ago. Of course that never seems to placate the sense of loss that comes with having something you've worked so hard at for so long, simply dismissed.

    You're right, six years is a good stretch, but if your programme (and its history) has taught me anything, it's that longevity alone isn't evidence of quality. For that, we need only look at the hard work and effort that you, Phil and the rest of the team put into this show on a weekly basis.

    You're only ever as good as you're last show, and over the last six years you've been nothing short of excellent.

    Please pass on my congratulations to all involved for a job well done.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    But without that change in legislation requiring the TVNZ Board on downwards to only make money and give it back to the Government, there’s no reason why TVNZ 7 couldn’t have continued, subsidised by the profits from ONE and 2.

    I think that the reality is that cross subsidization of PSB by a primarily commercial organisation is not sustainable across governments. And we need a model that lasts for longer than the next Labour government. I think that the solution has to be more radical and deep. (I am not sure what that solution actually is.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    is not sustainable across governments.

    And therein lies the rub. There's little that can be done by one Government that can't be undone by the next. The only hope is to do something that is so instantly popular (interest-free student loans!) with enough voters, or so blindingly obvious (but the Nats even ditched the healthy schools in food stuff, so...) that it doesn't make sense to undo it.

    It's argued we should never have scrapped the license fee, as that was seen as being ringfenced for broadcasting, and so couldn't be tampered with arbitrarily. As soon as it comes out of the consolidated fund, it's fair game.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I personally see on-demand video as the way of the future. Yet, apart from obvious bandwidth issues, I reckon the other major obstacle to on-demand is the learning curve inherent with desktop PCs. A decently-sized TV costs roughly the same as a video-capable desktop, but a TV doesn't take as long to learn how to use.

    So are Internet-capable TVs the solution?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • David Russell,

    This is a very interesting thread. Just a pity the reason that it has come into existence. Thanks Russell and your team, it has been great to have been a part of your Media world for the last years, and I'm going to miss that perspective of the world.

    My hope now is that Labour will win, and will then keep its promises to do something about public television.

    Thanks again for your informative, and entertaining, and thought provoking programs.

    Whitianga • Since Apr 2013 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    ...I won't be able to take my students on field trips to Media 7/3 anymore. They really loved those trips--folk were friendly, they were fed and watered, they got to see some tele being made, and came away a little overawed by the experience. I think It may well have increased subsequent viewership of Media 3 by a jot or two.

    Maybe I should now take them on trips, to chuck rocks at TV3 and Sky HQs?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

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