22 March 2011
Incorrect inferences have been taken from this report. NZ On Air has compiled the Local Content Report for many years as a quantitative measure of New Zealand programming on the main free to air channels. The annual research analyses data supplied by independent agency Nielsen Media Research. It measures all locally produced content on New Zealand television, including repeats. It does not look solely at programmes funded by NZ On Air. Obviously, results will fluctuate from year to year.
The total number of hours of local content shown on the six free-to-air channels measured increased from 2010 to 2011.
NZ On Air funded a lower percentage of total local hours (16% compared with 20% in 2010) because there was an increase in local content overall. As the report says, this was largely due to the extra non-funded coverage of the earthquakes and rugby world cup.
If other local content increases then, naturally, the percentage of NZ On Air-funded content will decrease.
In 2011 local content in prime time increased by 2% and NZ On Air-funded content during primetime increased by 1%.
The channel breakdown of the reduction of first-run funded programming is set out below:
NZ On Air-Funded First
TV One 306 242 64
TV2 323 339 -16
TV3 155 299 -144
FOUR 298 774 -476
Prime 10 32 -22
Maori TV 52 54 -2
Grand Total 1144 1740 -596
The onscreen hours of NZ On Air-funded content also fluctuate between years. 2,220 hours in 2010; 1,764 in 2011. Total NZ On Air-funded hours reduced mainly because of fewer screenings of music videos (down 357 hours), which used to screen on high rotate on the former C4. In previous years an automatic allowance of two NZ On Air-funded hours was made every day of the year for local music video on C4. When the channel was relaunched as a general channel, this allowance ceased.
This is the same reason for the reduction in recorded first-run hours. Thus these reduced figures do not reveal a significant trend in funded programming.
The main increase in total hours of repeated programming was on Prime TV. The highest number of repeats is on Maori Television as content is designed to be repeated on that channel. Repeating programmes, particularly on channels with smaller audiences, is common sense and good value for money for publicly-funded content in particular.
The extra increase of over $3m in NZ On Air funding commitments between 2010 and 2011 is due to a Platinum Fund underspend in 2010 while projects were still in development. That funding was rolled into 2011 and committed when projects were ready to be greenlit. Platinum expenditure in 2010 was $13.3m and in 2011 $17.2m. This has nothing to do with NZ's Got Talent funding which is not funded from the Platinum Fund. NZ On Air annual report funding commitments do not directly correlate with annual Local Content figures - they are measuring different activity in different periods.