Local Content Report 2015

Local content on television increased 2.4% in 2015, although the amount of new programmes continued to decline.

Infographics · Television · NZ on Air · 15th April 2016


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.

In 2015 the amount of NZ programming on free-to-air television increased but the underlying trends are more revealing. 

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

  • Repeat screenings totalled 6,271 hours (5,694 in 2014) accounting for virtually half of all local content at 49%. 
  • First run local content, meaning new series or programmes, decreased by 4% in 2015, continuing a downward trend that has been observed for the past seven years. This decrease was largely caused by a significant drop in Entertainment hours on FOUR as the daily youth music programme Smash! moved to The Edge TV, a Freeview channel that is not included in this report.
  • Documentaries, Entertainment, News/Current Affairs, Sport and Children’s programming also recorded decreases in first run hours.
  • There was more first run local Drama/Comedy, General Factual and Māori programming.
  • TV One again broadcast the most first run local content with 2,300 hours, followed by TV3 with 1,889 hours. TV3 added 132 first run hours to its schedule (up 8%).
  • The large output of News/Current Affairs programmes on these channels continues to keep their first run content levels high.
  • Overall, local content comprised 36% of prime time schedules (the same as 2014). 
  • General Factual (previously labelled ‘Information’ – see page 5) continues to be the second largest genre of local content after News/Current Affairs. 
  • Drama/Comedy hours increased by 87 to 646 total hours. TV2, TV3, FOUR, Prime and Māori Television all broadcast more hours of local Drama and Comedy in 2015.

For more information read the full report.