TVNZ Trades In Kids for Ads and Teens

Posted Tuesday 11 Jan 2011

At the end of December, TVNZ announced that its kids-centric TVNZ 6 channel will this year be canned in March. Instead, TVNZ 7 will be expanded to launch a commercial free-to-air youth-targeted channel.
TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis said the expanded TVNZ 7 channel would add a number of viewer favourites including pre-school children's programmes from the current TVNZ 6 channel to its schedule. Mr Ellis said the TVNZ 6  transmission frequency would be used for the new commercial advertiser-supported youth channel.
Unlike TVNZ's other channels and operations, TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 have been Crown funded. The $79 million over five years for the channels is due to expire in the 2011-12 financial year. Both were funded to encourage Freeview uptake and New Zealanders to move to digital television. The Government had asked TVNZ for a plan to continue two channels on Freeview past the expiry of the funding. The accepted proposal is that one of the frequencies be commercialised and funded from advertising and the other continue to be publicly funded as a public broadcasting channel at least until the end of the current funding.

Further announcements on the details of the channel, including its name, are expected early this year.