Television New Zealand

From Academic Kids

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Current TVNZ logo

Television New Zealand (TVNZ) is the main broadcaster of television in New Zealand, established in 1980 through the merger of Television One and TV2 (formerly South Pacific Television). Like Radio New Zealand (RNZ), it became a separate State-Owned Enterprise (SOE), following the dissolution of the Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand (BCNZ) in 1988; today it is a Crown Entity. It is funded by advertising, and also some public funding, which before 1999 was a 'broadcasting fee' or television licence, but is now in the form of a grant-in-aid.

Most programming including news and current affairs and Maori language programming, are now mostly New Zealand produced programs with foreign programs acquired from either the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, or Australia.While New Zealands most famous soap opera Shortland Street is shown around the world, although it has not found success in neighbouring Australia.


TVNZ channels

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A former TVNZ logo from the late 1990s

The main channel is called TV One, which has a mix of family entertainment, and documentaries, as well as news and current affairs. TV One also complements its own news coverage with carriage of BBC World overnight. The second channel, TV2, is aimed at a younger audience, with soap operas, music videos, and Hollywood movies.

Between 1995 and 1997, TVNZ operated a chain of regional TV stations under the 'Horizon Pacific' brand name, which also carried BBC World, as well as its own documentary programming. This was replaced by a local 'free to air' version of the music video channel MTV, but this was also dropped in 1998. Both TV One and TV2 are available via digital satellite on Sky Network Television.

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A former TVNZ logo from the late 1980s and early 1990s

Internationally, TVNZ has helped provide television services in Pacific Island nations such as the Cook Islands, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. While TVNZ provides much of the programming, scheduling and continuity are done locally.

In 2004, TVNZ is developing plans to offer a third TV channel, which would meet its public service obligations under the Charter. As yet unnamed, the channel would be similar to SBS in Australia and C-Span in the United States, and would provide live coverage of the New Zealand Parliament.

Transmission Network

New Zealand has nearly identical TV channel allocation frequencies as Australia. Australian TV sets (when taken to NZ) will only be capable of mono sound reproduction. This is due to subtle changes in the type of PAL transmitted on several heavily used VHF TV frequencies. UHF frequencies are not affected as PAL transmitted on UHF is totally standardised in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. TVNZ uses the greatest number of VHF frequencies in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a near nationwide implementation of NICAM stereo sound for TV One, TV2 and TV3. New Zealand has provisionally agreed to implement DVB-T HDTV, but there are no indications that TVNZ will be the first broadcaster to transmit in HDTV.


In 2000, the Labour government attempted to restructure TVNZ as a public service broadcaster, after accusations that the broadcaster was becoming too commercialised, and introduced a Charter, similar to that of the BBC. However, this drew fire from both sides, with free-market politicians arguing that TVNZ was being made to show programmes that people did not want to watch, while those in favour of public service broadcasting argued the opposite, that under the Charter, TVNZ was simply duplicating programming available on private channels.

A result of the restructing included removing the company from the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 and making it a Crown Entity.

See also

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