TVNZ And Its Unprecedented 90 Percent Slump

August 31, 2017
1 min read

TVNZ’s profits have slumped by a massive 90 percent. PAT PILCHER knows just how to fix the problem, in five easy steps.


TVNZ has announced a massive 90 percent drop in profits. TVNZ’s profit slumped to just a little more than $1m, after they wrote $12m off the contract they have with Disney.

While the stampede to streamed and offshore content is increasingly rendering broadcast TV obsolete, I reckon there’s still a few things TVNZ could do to fix their abysmal performance. Here’s my list:

  • The News: Stop hiring 12-year old kids to report the evening news. Dressing them like 50-year olds doesn’t make them any more credible, it just turns viewers off. We want credible grey-haired reporters who have the gumption to form an opinion and stimulate some much-needed debate around NZ current affairs. This is never going to happen with snot-nosed kids on minimum wage reporting the news.

  • Reality TV: This really isn’t rocket science. Reality TV may be cheap as chips to make as you don’t need trained actors, or a set or a story writer. Trouble is, the reality TV genre has run its course and a growing number of Kiwis are sick and tired of it. Nowadays, trashy reality TV shows just drive viewers away. Herein lies the nub of the problem. Viewers have a tonne of other TV options and getting them to come back to TVNZ is a mission impossible. Surely, the obvious answer should be to not give them a reason to want to leave?

  • Adverts: Ban trashy shouty adverts. I’ve written about this before. They’re terrible. Seriously TVNZ, us viewers don’t need to stick around, give us any excuse and we’ll migrate elsewhere.

  • Represent New Zealand: Instead of spending vast amounts of money bidding for the broadcasting rights to offshore shows we can get elsewhere (like most of Disney’s frankly dire line-up), invest in local content that people want to watch. TVNZ, you are supposed to be New Zealand’s state broadcaster. You need to start behaving like one. Be a voice for New Zealand’s culture. A quick visit to TVNZ’s webpage reveals vast numbers of US/UK shows and hardly any New Zealand content beyond the existing line up of Shortland St, Country Calendar and several current affairs shows. How about some actual drama with real actors? Get behind the arts and showcase New Zealand’s incredibly vibrant and rich music scene. Bring back Radio With Pictures!

  • Overhaul NZ On Air: I’m not sure what NZ On Air does these days. The amount of NZ content hitting our screens is miniscule. Overhaul this woeful system and encourage NZ content. It is an investment in our culture, and New Zealand needs a voice.


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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