Posts by dave stewart

  • Hard News: Rugby Now,

    Can somebody please explain to me why in NZ we tolerate monopolistic business practices by television broadcasters (e.g. exclusive sports rights), yet in almost every other sector of commerce we have rules and tools to prevent businesses from obtaining a monopolistic advantage?
    Does the ComComm not have enough teeth to do something about this, or are there special laws protecting the TV/sports sectors?
    Seems to me like another example of free trade being a noble objective when it benefits large corporates, but to be prevented as much as possible when it might benefit individual consumers.

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Rugby Now,

    Contender for PA word of the year: warrenball!?

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Rugby Now,

    See also Brian Rudman's opinion piece in the Herald related to this yesterday:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11866160.
    One assertion he makes I believe is accurate: that limiting TV sports coverage to pay-to-view results in a smaller audience than if it were free. When Sky doesn't even offer one-off streaming options for major events (e.g. test matches) lots of us who might have watched test matches find other pastimes.
    I also think this has got to be having an impact at kids level. If you grow up in a family without Sky, what opportunity do you have to witness rugby test matches? Delayed coverage on Prime is either after kids' bedtime or sometime the next day (not quite the same excitement). Certainly not as accessible as live at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.
    When I was a nipper rugby was way more popular than other Saturday morning team sports. Having recently taken our own kids to Saturday morning rugby & soccer, it is obvious that soccer is now way more popular than rugby for youngsters. This bodes well for the future of soccer in NZ.

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: We need to talk…,

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: We need to talk…,

    And what about the economic angle? I tuned into a RNZ Checkpoint discussion a few weeks ago where the view was expressed that substituting existing opiate-based pain relief medications prescribed for chronic/terminal patients for medicinal marijuana could save Pharmac in the order of hundreds of millions per year. Create new (legitimate) horticulture and processing industries to supply medicinal marijuana to ourselves and the net economic effect would be multiplied. Add some serious R&D and we have export potential to add to the equation. On the other hand we could just continue spending up on imported opiates. Are we morons?

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Superannuation: Back to the Future,

    If nothing else, at least the long delayed discussion about superannuation has actually commenced among those empowered to do something about it ...
    Now we just need everybody to act like grown ups and work collaboratively and in good faith to identify a superannuation solution that's fair and fit for purpose for the next couple of decades. How hard could that be?!
    There's no point arguing about whether the wealthy should be excluded or not. The wealthy have always been able to access mechanisms which allow them to conceal their wealth, and its the sods in the middle that most feel the squeeze of e.g. means testing.
    The biggest challenge of budgeting for retirement is not knowing how long you're actually going to live for, and the state is able to manage that with much more certainty over the whole population, than we ever can as individuals. So the state just needs to budget accordingly - not exactly rocket science!

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Dear Dudebros,

    Without wanting to detract from the seriousness... "feckless shit-gibbon" - sublime!

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: "Meth contamination": the…,

    It's not just HNZ that have been paranoid - landlords and letting agents are also testing for P in the absence of any evidence to suggest its presence.
    I had a personal experience of this at the end of last year.
    We moved out of a rental house which we'd occupied for 6 years, and which we'd looked after as if it was our own home - a tidy family home, with a professional dad, a stay at home mum, and two little kids (i.e. hardly your classic P house).
    In the last few days of our lease (but after we'd actually moved out) the DDA van parked conspicuously in our driveway (unnotified to us - tenants are often not extended simple courtesies in these matters) while they presumably tested the house for non-existent P use.
    So there are drug testing businesses, real estate agents, and others all collecting fees from the moral panic, a panic which they help reinforce and perpetuate for profit.

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All right, then – take me to Rio, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Couldn't agree more.
    Try the BBC for more extensive coverage and more balanced commentary WITHOUT ANY ADS!!!
    Oh yeah and they cover all events, not just rowing heats and dancing with horses.
    On the other hand if you think NZ coverage is bad, try Australian coverage - I could only stomach 5 minutes of their brand of parochialism.
    NBC also has huge amount of coverage but streams are too jumpy. OK for replays.
    But BBC is my firm favourite a few days in ...

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All right, then – take me to Rio,

    As taxpayers we've paid a good chunk of funding to support the Olympic athletes, plus our patronage of businesses which support those athletes with additional sponsorship funding, and we own a couple of TV stations with employees actually in Rio to cover the Olympics. So I am feeling a bit shortchanged here!
    NZ pay TV offers less Olympics coverage than is available on free TV in the other English speaking countries we like to compare ourselves to (UK, Australia, US, Canada).
    Coverage on NZ free TV is little more than a summary of the results of NZ competitors.
    Legal NZ streaming/on demand options are only marginally better - poor coverage for free options, with terrible performance and only limited coverage on paid options.
    Sky seems to have decided that if it can't have my $300 (i.e. minimum 6 months x $50 basic with sports special offer package), then it will only sell me a $56 fan pass which doesn't even provide access to all of Sky's own coverage. Good way to go bankrupt fellas, especially in the change or die era of digital content.
    So stuff them all - I don't need any of them.
    Bike races were thrilling though!

    Since Aug 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

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