Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: U: It's about the combos

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  • StepDoh,

    Always sad to see a viewing option gone, particularly as I'm not signed up to post-ish-murdoch-vision. But as good as the local content was, outside of that I'm not so sure the loss of the likes of Made in Chelsea, Real Housewives or Ms Price's ITV output is any great one.

    All horrible consumption-driven into the void shows designed to alienate viewers and make them feel like they were poor.

    Shme they cant do the BBC's Cbeebies/BBC3 timeshare (I know Cbeebies actually timeshared with BBC4, but not even thinking of suggesting that) would be good to somehow get Kidzone on Freeview, but realise that's not remotely likely to happen.

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Finally, this is a disaster for Freeview. TVNZ has now shuttered three digital channels and TV3 hasn’t even got a new channel to the start line.

    Surely one of either Four or C4 counts. C4 2, as originally named, was only Freeview based, and it still exists as C4.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    I feel you've missed the importance of soon being able to watch Home and Away one hour later than others

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Macdougall,

    I'm pretty excited about Sommet Sports on Channel 14, which I ran across by accident the other day. Quite a nice array of sports on there!

    Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    Surely one of either Four or C4 counts. C4 2, as originally named, was only Freeview based, and it still exists as C4.

    C4 was "temporarily" pulled from Freeview satellite about a year ago or so but (surprise surprise) its removal was quietly made permanent and it can now only be received on Freeview terrestrial.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    At some point TVNZ will just have one channel, called TVNZ+∞, looping the same 42 minutes of pap (and 18 minutes of ads) for eternity.

    I'm heartbroken for all the hard working, creative, and skilled people still at TVNZ. How disillusioned must they be?

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Surely one of either Four or C4 counts. C4 2, as originally named, was only Freeview based, and it still exists as C4.

    Good point; I’ve amended the post. Although even there, there are some fairly unusual royalty agreements keeping the thing on air. It's basically a placeholder.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I'm disappointed. While I'd normally be a bit careful about shitting where I eat, I think this is pretty short-sighted. TVNZ U was more than a youth channel; it had done a pretty good job of cracking that rather difficult (for the MSM at least) nut - meaningful engagement via social media. The TVNZ U online community was large and active, and they've effectively just thrown the switch on that.

    I wonder if they'll sell me their facebook page? I know a certain youth-oriented website that could do with 60,000 automatic likes... and that never backfires...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott, in reply to StepDoh,

    Wasn't 'U' originally TVNZ6? Wasn't that a dedicated Kids' TV channel? Hasn't all that Kiszone stuff been given to Sky?

    I agree that Freeview's promise seems to have been totally squandered. A channel of decent adult programming (7) and some ads-free children's TV (6) have now become 'timeshifted' versions of what we already have elsewhere... because that's "popular with viewers" apparently. Because no-one owns a PVR or a VCR and no-one views TV on-demand, right?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I know a certain youth-oriented website that could do with 60,000 automatic likes… and that never backfires…

    And it even starts with a 'U'. It's practically the same thing.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Shaun Lott,

    I'd imagine the core audience for timeshifted Freeview is in fact people who don't own a PVR or a VCR or use TV on demand, because many people don't live in affluent households with large amounts of disposable income.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Shaun Lott,

    Wasn't 'U' originally TVNZ6? Wasn't that a dedicated Kids' TV channel? Hasn't all that Kiszone stuff been given to Sky?

    Yes to all the above. And if the BBC or ABC allowed this to happen, they'd be strapped into chairs and be forced to watch the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.

    I agree that Freeview's promise seems to have been totally squandered. A channel of decent adult programming (7) and some ads-free children's TV (6) have now become 'timeshifted' versions of what we already have elsewhere... because that's "popular with viewers" apparently. Because no-one owns a PVR or a VCR and no-one views TV on-demand, right?

    At the heart of the problem is the fact that Kordia has effectively cartellised Freeview. The only avenue left is on-demand, and that's still got a long way to go in NZ, despite the emergence of Coliseum Entertainment.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I’d imagine the core audience for timeshifted Freeview is in fact people who don’t own a PVR or a VCR or use TV on demand, because many people don’t live in affluent households with large amounts of disposable income.

    I imagine you are right. I wonder if anyone has any numbers on this? “Popular with viewers” or just “cheaper for TVNZ”?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I’d imagine the core audience for timeshifted Freeview is in fact people who don’t own a PVR or a VCR or use TV on demand,

    Or have them, can't be bothered setting them up for regular viewing, but would rather watch early evening programmes when the kids have gone to sleep, rather than crime/talent/renovation/cooking shows. I've liked timeshifting since I've had kids and had trouble sitting down for anything interesting before 8pm.

    Freeview's still useful for people with awful terrestrial reception who previously had to shell out for Sky. The freeview chips in new TVs are for terrestrial HD only, not satellite, so it's no use to me in my bad reception pocket.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    edgier talent

    And while we're on the subject. Could someone please tell whoever witless banter, feigned shock, tut tutting and those godawful knowing looks to camera are NOT edgey. And I/V's could do with some teeth.
    Can't say I get much out of blunt objects gumming and slobbering someone to a coma But I guess its asking too much.
    'Let them eat cake' I hear resounding down the corridors

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Allan Moyle,

    mathematically the Freeview TV changes can now be expressed as:
    (1+1)+(2+1)+(3+1) -U -7 = shit²

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Jacob Billings, in reply to Alan Macdougall,

    If Sommet Sports and Choice TV can get off the ground and find an audience then why do TVNZ and to a lesser extent the cash strapped TV3 struggle so much. Especially when you consider the enormous mountain of content and public opinion they have had to overcome from SKY's almost monopoly in sports and "entertainment" programming.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2013 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan,

    Cripes. Makes Aus Freeview look pretty good

    ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS One (& HD version), SBS2, NITV, Seven, 7two, 7mate (HD), Nine, GEM (HD), GO!, Ten, One, 11.

    Go here to get a feel for the content:

    http://www.yourtv.com.au/guide/tonight/

    The rationale for a +1 channel is dead in the water now that we have PVRs, and have done for many years. Of course the Freeview EPG licensing has very effectively hobbled PVR uptake by having few cheap models on the market.

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Anderson,

    Very sad news. It probably means that "The Shire" will never be seen in NZ again. One of the best comedy programmes to ever come out of Australia - The Castle meets reality TV, had been on U on Wednesday nights.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Out of interest, what are the advertising rate card implications? I'm presuming you don't pay any extra as an advertiser because there's a +1 showing, so are they just looking for higher eyeball numbers to then push rates up over time?

    So is there an immediate complete loss of whatever revenue U was generating?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    This seems short-sighted for a number of reasons. More than anything else, "U" could have served as an incubator of future talent for TVNZ's "grown-up" chanels (for want of a better term- and I concede 'grown-up' television on TV1 and TV2 is pretty thin on the ground), while also being its own "thing".

    I didn't watch it very often, and some of it was clearly not for me, but it clearly had its own identity- and as Damian said, they "got" social media pretty well. Really, Freeview should be exactly the right venue for these sorts of niche chanels. I mean, they're that expensive to run, and should be seen as an investment by TVNZ- in people and talent, if nothing else.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Aidan,

    Go here to get a feel for the content:

    Wow. I'm in Melbourne about to return to NZ, so I checked out the NZ freeview guide. At least in Australian Freeview, the infomercials have dedicated channels, like TVSN, and electronic guides that include specified quality programming like "The Roomba Hour".

    TV doesn't form a great motivation in my life's decisions about where to live, but I'll miss SBS and to a lesser extent ABC.

    The rationale for a +1 channel is dead in the water now that we have PVRs

    For viewers it is, and also with internet streaming replays. For networks I'd imagine that +1 channels a very cheap way to make use of bandwidth they've probably already paid for, push the same advertising down a slightly different line of viewers who missed it the first time around, marginally raise the ratings and perhaps charge a little more to advertisers?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    I agree. I’m personally ambivalent about the content of U. But I disagree it’s the end of Freeview. When my JCmatthews 380 (thanks Public Address) clapped out last year, I lasted less than 24 hours before rushing out to replace it. U had precisely nothing to do with that.

    I can’t bear the thought of forking out 50-100 bucks a month for Sky. Quite happy to record Sunny in Philadelphia and Call the Midwife and catch a time shifted 7 Days after putting the kids to bed (it loses its punch if you watch it recorded).

    BTW is Call the MW some kind of massive, Redgrave-sponsored placement for the BLP?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Whatever Telecom is planning on offering in digital youth content won't be hurt by TVNZ gutting themselves in that space. Jason Paris must be delighted.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I've already expressed my disappointment at this decision above, but on the time-shifting vs +1 thing...

    I have MySky, have had since it first launched. But I make a reasonable amount of use of the +1 channels. Quite often, it's the Sky +1 channels for 1 or 3 (501, 503), which I then use to MySky record something that I missed the start of, so that confuses the model somewhat I guess...

    As B Jones pointed out above, +1 can simply be handy, to catch something you don't necessarily bother with enough to record but wouldn't mind watching rather than whatever is on an hour later. Also, we don't have Sky in our bedroom, which is where Harry watches a bit of morning kids' telly while we have our coffee and try to cope with the fact it's 6am.

    The only upside of 2+1 for us - Tiki Tour will now be on twice a morning :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

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