Waste of time anyway, I agree with TVNZ

I’m going to disagree with Regan at Throng who thinks TVNZ wants to shirk their responsibilities.

TVNZ wants to be released from having to show the Night of the Long Lies otherwise known as the party political broadcasts.

Television New Zealand says it should be allowed to drop some of its election coverage because of terrible ratings.

The broadcaster has long been required by law to broadcast political parties’ opening and closing election addresses.

But it says viewing patterns have changed and a sharp fall in ratings during the presentations – once central campaign events – justifies a change.

During the last election the opening addresses had ratings that were 38 per cent lower than the average for the six previous Saturday evenings. ?

“TVNZ has a commercial mandate … based on this we believe the requirement under the Broadcasting Act for us to provide free time to parties for opening and closing election statements, during primetime, is out of step,” a spokeswoman said. “Ratings support this point … we suggest that Parliament TV is better suited to this specific function.”

In a submission to the justice and electoral select committee, the broadcaster wants its obligations removed, or, alternatively, them extended to its commercial rivals.

The rise of the internet and social media has diluted television’s role as the key method of communication with voters, TVNZ notes, and audiences are increasingly uninterested in the opening and closing statements, the spokeswoman said.

The only reason they have to show them is because of stupid electoral laws that forbid political parties from buying their own television time.

They are allotted some television time and budget and it almost all goes on those two slots…with a smattering of other ads in the?lead up tot he election.

Time to drop the whole state funded palaver, remove the obligation and let political parties spend what they want on television advertising, rather than what is dictated by the silly law.

I haven’t watched opening or closing broadcasts for at least 4 elections…I?suspect many other people are in the same boat.

Television is a dying medium in its current form anyway. Time to ditch these archaic ad slots every three years.



– NZ Herald