Broadcasting Minister either lying, ignorant or both


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I’m sorry, what?

Nearly all regional TV stations make digital switchover – minister

The Minister of Broadcasting says all bar one of New Zealand’s regional television stations have made the digital switchover with little issue.

From 1 December, the country’s last analogue television signal will be turned off, and only digital signals will be available.

A public broadcasting lobby group says small, non-commercial television stations may not survive and the Government has offered little help to those stations trying to switch over.

However, Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss says nine stations across the country have gone digital without experiencing any significant problems.

He says the taxpayer, via New Zealand On Air, assisted with $70,000 to help stations change equipment from analogue to digital.

Mr Foss says one station, Triangle, has made the commercial choice to go behind a paywall, and that will effect its New Zealand On Air funding in future.

Let’s get this straight, Face TV (formerly Triangle) ‘chose’ to go onto Sky??? It wasn’t as David Beatson painstakingly pointed out,  because the Ministry of Heritage and Culture purposely told Kordia to ignore the Ministry’s own guidelines and sell the spare Auckland Freeview frequency to commercial interests, oh no, Face TV ‘choose’ to go onto Sky.

That’s fascinating because that ‘choice’ certainly is news to Face TV…

‘Political misconception’ threatening Face TV
Face TV, formerly Triangle Television, is concerned that its future is being jeopardised by a political misconception.

A statement by the Minister of Broadcasting Craig Foss that Triangle Television made a commercial choice to go behind a paywall is incorrect.

Jim Blackman, chief executive and co-founder of the channel now known as Face TV (Channel 83 on Sky), says the company was given no choice but to secure its future.

“There was simply no spectrum for Triangle Television to move to in the Auckland region,” Mr Blackman says. “Unfortunately the spectrum that could have been used to transition us as a community and public service broadcaster was sold off to a commercial operator.”

Mr Foss said at the weekend that all bar one of New Zealand’s regional television stations have made the digital switchover with little issue. However, he said Triangle has made the commercial choice to go behind a paywall and that will affect its New Zealand On Air funding in future.

“We have evidence that shows that statement is incorrect,” Mr Blackman says.

I have checked with David Beatson, and he is adamant that of the 21 regional TV channels licensed to operate at the beginning of 2009 – 15 will survive free-to-air post DSO. Of the 11 regional TV channels that qualified for NZ On Air funding, only 6 will qualify for funding after DSO. The other 5 have gone behind the paywall on Sky, or organised independent local transmission arrangements that mean they can’t qualify for NZ on Air funding assistance. Of the 8 non-commercial TV channels, only 2 – and possibly 3 – will be operating on the Freeview platform. After DSO not one of the regional channels has any obligation to provide the public service that were required of non-commercial licence holding regional channels, as all non-commercial licences will be terminated.

So when the Broadcasting Minister claims that Face TV ‘chose’ to be on Sky, the Minister is either lying, ignorant or both.

It is in the interests of the elites to dismantle public spheres of debate and splinter them into a thousand different stations that compete and never solidify as one voice. The final Citizen A will screen 7.30pm Sky 83 with special guest panelists Wallace Chapman from Backbenches/Radio Live and leader of the Labour Party, David Cunliffe.


  1. The Broadcasting Minister must be ignorant because politicians do not lie. (Witness John Key over Kim DotCom and other things and the best example of all, John Banks.)

  2. What a sad state of affairs. I haven’t been able to watch Stratos/Triangle/Face TV for a long time because we didn’t live in a place with a UHF aerial until very recently when our landlord installed one to comply with the DSO. However, I consoled myself with the mistaken assumption that I would be able to watch Face when we had Freeview back. Sad times for public broadcasting in this country. No TVNZ 7 or Face means there is precious little worth watching now beyond Al Jaz, not at all happy here.

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