Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Ante Up

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    How about a much more radical scheme. Close down terrestrial and satellite TV and radio and allocate the frequencies for 4G mobile internet, to be provided at a regulated price cheap enough to make 24/7 video streaming affordable.

    Have a contestable fund raised by an internet access levy (which for fairness could be applied to other legacy content, like newspapers and CDs) to fund providers of content to this network.

    Of course, this would piss off the 95% of the population who aren't ubergeeks and would just like to watch telly. This could be dealt with by holding future elections with an opensource voting system based on linux command lines and OpenSSL.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Of course, this would piss off the 95% of the population who aren’t ubergeeks and would just like to watch telly. This could be dealt with by holding future elections with an opensource voting system based on linux command lines and OpenSSL.

    Cunning!

    But seriously, broadcast still has a serious place. It scales really well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    Radio New Zealand, thanks to the advocacy of Richard Hulse and others... is available live, and on-demand, to listeners anywhere.

    Although, not to iOS users.
    They have been promising live streaming through their iphone app for over a year now, but so far nothing has come of it.

    The ABC app from Australia is a good example of how to do this (although it is only available from the Oz app store)

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Gary Hutchings,

    Although, not to iOS users.
    They have been promising live streaming through their iphone app for over a year now, but so far nothing has come of it.

    That would be the funding freeze at work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Hire some hobbits...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville, in reply to Gary Hutchings,

    Although, not to iOS users.
    They have been promising live streaming through their iphone app for over a year now, but so far nothing has come of it.

    The TuneIn radio app works perfectly. I'm listening to it right now on an ipad.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The fact that TVNZ's Kidzone and Heartland are only available on Sky, and not on FreeView, is a disgrace. The BBC and ABC would never allow it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    not to iOS users

    I'm unclear of the justification in spending taxpayer dollars jumping through the hoops placed to restrict Apple's walled garden.

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

  • izogi,

    The point is that public television can deliver programming outside the bounds of the demographics targeted by the ad agencies upon whom commercial broadcasters rely, and outside of the need to win every timeslot. It can serve audiences that are loss-making for commercial broadcasters.

    Hi Russell. I agree, but I also think it worth emphasising that there's more to public television than screening programmes that don't fit the target demographic for advertisers. When I lived in NZ I'd often prefer watching TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 simply because they showed me good content without frequently spewing a distracting commercial mess in my face as a price of viewing it. From the private side I remember SKY made a big selling point of less commercially-polluted content in its early days, but that seemingly didn't last much longer than it took for SKY to get a critical mass of customers and content. (Haven't seen SKY for ages, though.) If part of the goal is to ensure loss-making audiences are served by broadcast television (which I'm guessing implies a right for people to be able to view content relevant and interesting for themselves on TV), I think there's a reasonable argument to include audiences who want content that might be of wider interest yet just don't always want ulterior commercial motives in their face for their entire TV viewing experience. Of course I guess a line needs to be drawn somewhere.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    I think Clare Curran has ideas on how to fund a new umbrella public service broadcaster, and it would be one or more of what you suggest, BUT she's not wanting to alienate anyone before the election.

    Of your suggested funding ideas, the best is number 2: a local production levy on Pay TV or just all commercial TV profits. Sky makes a huge profit, yet they make sweet FA local programming, AND have a monopoly on some of the country's prime bandwidth. If they want the right to broadcast and make all that dosh, it's only fair they siphon off a small proportion of it (5% would be more than enough) for some public service TV. As you say, it works nicely in Australia, and elsewhere. In the UK, ITV was tasked with helping fund the brilliant Channel 4 in it's infancy and look at it now.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I have been surprised for years that New Zealanders complained about having to pay for a TV licence but are quite prepared to pay almost 10 times as much for Sky TV.
    There is more to this gutting of the public broadcasting sector than most realise.
    Over the past few years Kordia, the transmission arm of public broadcasting, has been rolling out terrestrial digital TV in the form of Freeview transmission, the backbone of which was TVNZ programming along with several other “Small” stations like TV3, Stratos, Cue, Maori and others.
    This Government has thrown all this to the dogs, the dogs being Sky TV and the terrestrial project all but abandoned leaving many people north of Whangarei without TV when the analogue system is turned off next June/July, unless, of course, they have a satellite dish (ie Sky TV)
    All the taxpayer funding that has been put into this project will be wasted if we allow National to have their way with our Public Broadcasting network.
    Kordia also had a hand in the “Ultrafast” broadband rollout for the “Rural Broadband Initiative” in partnership with Woosh, an existing player in several cities. This initiative was scuppered by National and handed, on a plate, to Telecom and Vodafone.
    The pattern is unmistakeable, National are looking after Sky, Vodafone and Telecom in this arena.
    It is not so dissimilar from them looking after insurance companies in Christchurch.
    It is time for the people of New Zealand to call a halt to this pillaging of our assets,
    John Key MUST GO!

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    dystopia or dyspepsia...
    Key promises that the NEW assets he will economagically create, including broadband for all will return massive amounts of money to the country - so maybe we will just have TVN7 as a YouTube channel for all to access - which we'll be able to watch in our cars as we drive on all the new roads (with free wifi) that he will create as well, and what with us unable to own our own homes or moving in convoys away from the scorched earth of Chchch, the distraction will be welcome...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    Of your suggested funding ideas, the best is number 2: a local production levy on Pay TV or just all commercial TV profits.

    Which would help with production costs -- but I don't think it would fund a whole channel. Depend on how hard you sting them, I suppose.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Nice analysis. Isn't there another option (or part option)? The public broadcasting fee. Or is that just another nettle to grasp in our bloodied mandibles.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The problem with the last tv licence fee was that no one paid it and they couldn't force you to. Most fines go unpaid. And they are taxes by another name.
    The recurring theme is Govt. or insurance company owned, and that includes ACC, ChCh insurance, work insurance, superannuation, health insurance, car rego, etc...we fudge round trying to support the veneer of welfare...when I think it is clear what the Nats want, the US model, insurance companies as legislators. We already have it here when we pay twice for health, and with compulsory super we will pay twice for pensions.
    And so it is with broadcasting.
    Oh and BTW if you want to know anything about costing human longevity, ask an actuary.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Allan Moyle,

    Love ideas 1,2 and 3 and in concert does seem like a good policy platform. Selling TVNZ does provide the opportunity to set aside some of the return for retention/establishment and say 3/5 yr operational funding for Ch 7, and setting up one or two more channel options i.e a kids channel (or reclaim Kidzone), a SBS type channel etc - a better outcome then we've been getting from the so called Charter and as you say the dividends
    The levy to keep shows going /to create new ones/maybe fund content purchases?
    If the levy if fulsome enough and Freeview is the delivery mode then the the must pay/play option may be harder to get over the line.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Richard CLARK,

    and all I want is a simple Constitution and A Bill of Rights so successive governments can't turn on and off what we believe are our rights. Thank god i don't do TV, Nat radio is bad enough with pit pull interviewers but it sure as hell is better than NZTV.

    Featherston • Since Feb 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hans Versluys,

    the Triangle/Stratos access-TV model

    Not quite correct. Stratos TV is not access television but public service television proper. It's far more SBS than Manhattan Neighbourhood Network.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2011 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to merc,

    The problem with the last tv licence fee was that no one paid it and they couldn't force you to. Most fines go unpaid. And they are taxes by another name.

    So pay for it out of Taxes, a far lower cost per head than Sky, which people seem to want to pay, it is beyond me why.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hans Versluys,

    Re: cumulative viewing figures. Not sure where you get those figures from but according to Nielsen cumes TVNZ 7 averages 1.16m a month in 2011 (highest: Oct 2011 1.41m). Maori TV averages 2.01m (highest: Sep 2011 2.64m). Highest rating Sky channel is The Box at 1.4m a month (UKTV averages at 1.26m)

    Auckland • Since Jul 2011 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    This is the whole issue I think, what to pay for out of taxes, what we pay for after we are taxed, the whole model is outdated and successive govts trip round the issue because...well they compete from both sides, two examples are land speculation and events. Unfettered due our lack of an enshrined BORA is part of the problem. I have noticed that both major parties, Key's in particular don't seem to have any consistent moral ethos...so really it's moot as to why this gets funded out of tax or that gets the privatisation treatment because you know...there is nothing to evaluate anything against, the Treasury cannot even give us ROI figures for multi-million dollar corporate handouts for goodness sake.
    When everything is up for grabs, nobody really wins.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to merc,

    ...ask an actuary.

    isn't that how key begins all his answers
    "Actuary, at the end of the day, basically..."
    waffle and tripe, and so on ad nauseam...

    (H/T to Terry Kearns in today's Press letters page)

    and all I want is a simple Constitution and A Bill of Rights...

    ...And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
    And I can't look at hovels and I can't stand fences
    Don't fence me in


    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm disappointed that Labour, having advanced some good ideas and averred its belief in public broadcasting, has lacked the courage to say how it would pay for those ideas.

    Quite, and depressingly enough I'd say much the same about National and Labour's Arts policies releases today. Little in either this pointy headed arty-farty would object to on principle, but damn... talk is not only cheap but completely fucking worthless to arts organisations that can't operate on fairy dust and unicorn farts.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: I am currently secretary of the Auckland Film Society, which has gratefully received indirect programming support - via the New Zealand Federation of Film Societies -- from the New Zealand Film Commission, and the Ministry of Arts Culture & Heritage. The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of the AFS or NZFFS.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I cite this as an example, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10763359
    Goff, "Everyone who owns a home will now be insured - eliminating the ``moral hazard" of covering uninsured homeowners, which penalises people who pay for private insurance cover."
    Mr Goff also said a Labour Government would also increase the $100,000 cap on EQC cover after consulting with the commission and the insurance industry."
    Morally addresses the issue.

    Brownlee, But Mr Brownlee said Labour's proposal "smacks of policy on the hoof"' and was poorly thought out.
    "Why would anyone be comfortable with the idea you would be paying for the same EQC cover based on the value of your home?"
    Does not address the issue morally, cynically avoids it yes.

    Without heart everything is a mind game.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Russell Brown,

    TVNZ 7 is awesome.

    My 30 years of watching events leads me to conclude that if there is something good going on in NZ you can RELY on the tiny minds infected with dogma, prejudice and preconception that call themselves the (Multi-) National (1%) Party will move Heaven and Earth to screw it up for everyone.

    From public transport in Auckland, to public broadcasting to offshore drilling to selling energy assets *just* as peak oil is about to make energy resources PREMIUM assets….to pay down debt that costs less than the return on the assets (well…that was last week’s excuse)…..I COULD GO ON……the (Multi)-National (1%) party are the only real enemy the people of this country face on an ongoing basis.

    I’m an immigrant. I wasn’t raised to think these things. I’m not tribal.

    Across 30 years, from Muldoon to Steven Joyce….National TAUGHT me to think this way.

    Yes. I am angry.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

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