Local Content Report 2014

Local content on television increased 3% last year and the percentage of first run local content held steady.

Television · NZ on Air · 10th April 2015 · Author: NZ On Air staff


Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. This report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape.

Local content accounted for 12,538 hours of broadcast time in 2014, a 347% increase since the first report was published 25 years ago.

Each year NZ On Air invests around $80 million in free-to-air television programmes supporting up to 1,000 hours of new local content. This report is an important way we monitor the amount of total local content on television, including content we don't fund.

All figures in the report are based on an 18-hour broadcast day, 6am to midnight. Source data is provided by Nielsen.

Key findings

In 2014 local content on the six free-to-air channels monitored increased by 3%, making up 33% of the combined schedules.

First run local content levels remained steady in 2014 after five years of gradual decline. This steadiness was largely caused by the high volume of News/Current Affairs and Sports programming, which made up 45% of total local hours. The static nature of first run content reflects the ongoing difficult economic environment for free-to-air television broadcasting.

Repeat screenings totalled 5,694 hours (5,302 in 2013), accounting for almost half of all local content at 45%. Māori Television extended its broadcast hours in 2014, with its morning broadcast beginning at 6.30am from September 2014 onwards. The 378 additional hours on this channel were filled with repeated programming which accounts for the overall increase in repeat local content.

Local content comprised 36% of prime time schedules (up 1% on 2013).

Genre breakdown:

  • News/Current Affairs and Information hours were up, due in part to repeat content screening during Māori Television’s extended broadcast hours.
  • Sports hours also increased. This genre fluctuates from year to year due to major sporting events; in 2014 the Sochi Winter Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth Games inflated hours.
  • Documentary and Drama/Comedy hours decreased in 2014.
  • Information, Entertainment, Children’s and Maori programming hours were all up.

For more information, read the full report.