Here’s a question for you: do you want to prop up Three?
You’re already paying for TVNZ and Maori TV and public radio - do you, as a taxpayer, want to prop up Three too?
Yesterday, Mediaworks, which owns Three, cut two of its comedy shows – Guy Williams’ comedy show New Zealand Today is gone, 7 Days is cut right back – and apparently the axe is also hanging over Married at First Sight.
And the warning now is that if things carry on the way they are, the whole station could be shutting down.
So Mediaworks is begging the Government to help. It’s complaint is essentially that TVNZ has been given a free pass. it doesn’t need to return a dividend, which makes it hard to compete with.
Now exactly what Mediaworks wants isn’t all that clear. Does it want TVNZ to be forced to run some hours commercial free? Does it want TVNZ to not compete with Mediaworks to buy TV shows? Does it want TVNZ to stop selling ads for cheap? Does it just want cash?
I don’t know, but whatever it wants, it’s likely to cost you and I, the taxpayer, money.
Because essentially they’re asking for a bit of an advantage in the competition against TVNZ. Well, isn’t that like Jetstar asking us for money so it can keep flying regional routes against air New Zealand?
We wouldn’t say yes to that would we? We own Air NZ, that’s our money, same with TVNZ.
What we’re seeing right now is a sustained PR and lobbying effort by Mediaworks to get the government to do something to help. And it’s ramping up right now because it thinks it has a chance of getting some action.
The Government right now is looking at what to do with broadcasting in this country. We’re expecting a decision within weeks from Kris Fa’afoi.
But broadcasting’s changed. People are watching Netflix. The eyeballs aren’t there - people don’t watch TV as much anymore.
When people don’t want a service, taxpayers should start thinking about cutting back on spending, not increasing it.