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1168 posts

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# 94639 15-Dec-2011 17:42
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There is a pile of threads on here talking about TV in it's various guises. 

This got me to thinking.

What happened to free to air TV?

Once upon a time there were plenty of shows which would not look out of place on SoHo. The first Seasons of Heroes and Damages spring to mind. I don't want to get into a debate about what constitutes 'good' TV, it's subjective.

I do think these shows have common threads such as big budgets and an overarching story arc. Yeah, I guess I'm describing what some people call 'quality drama', but again I don't want to debate what 'good tv' is based on "but I like it". 

But two of the few FTA shows I can think of that would be on the SoHo line up at present are Downtown Abbey and the new Underbelly. 

Is this a sign of the times? Are we in a 'rough patch' for free to air tv? Or are there shows out there I just don't know about?




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1332 posts

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  # 558397 15-Dec-2011 17:50
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arc*

I'm not sure what you're asking, why there aren't many premium shows on free to air broadcast? Probably due to the cost.



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  # 558401 15-Dec-2011 18:05
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More why are there not premium shows on now when there were premium shows on five years ago or less? 

What, if anything, has changed since then?

Or is it just a periodic slump?  




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  # 558486 15-Dec-2011 22:14
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I suspect it's a slowly dying medium.

The audience is fragmenting - number of options/channels is proliferating, many who value ad-free watching moving to pay TV, younger viewers downloading, and consoles etc taking up more leisure time. This means that FTA channel slots attract less and less eyeballs, and the eyeballs that remain aren't as valuable because they are increasingly the lower-spending demographic and/or have PVRs etc that mean they can fast-forward through the ads. They get left with people like my mother, who isn't terribly likely to respond to commercials by spending a lot of money. If I was an advertiser, I be reducing what I am willing to pay as much for an ad slot, and diverting the spend to other options (pay tv, junk mail, internet etc).

With ad revenue falling, they are increasingly less able to bid for good product (sport, new drama) and become ever more dependent on re-runs, and low-cost filler such as endlessly following people (doctors, surf lifesavers, vets, SPCA workers, airport security, pets, police....) around. This reinforces the loss of valuable eyeballs, meaning even less ad revenue etc. Meanwhile, more people escape to pay TV, which can use swelling subscription revenue to outbid pay tv for the good content.

Personally, I pretty much don't watch FTA TV now, and always record the increasingly few things I am interested in so I can ad skip - there is so little content I am interested in, and the saturation-bombing of banal screaming ads (3-4 minutes every 7 minutes) makes even that virtually unwatchable.

I suspect that this means, over the longer term, FTA TV is becoming a content/quality ghetto and is in a slow-motion death spiral of ever falling viewers, revenue, and ability to bid for content. Eventually, I expect providers to start falling over - esp as new options such as netflix-like video over fibre etc also beging to take chunks out of them.

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  # 558511 15-Dec-2011 23:58
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When TVNZ had a monopoly they could low-ball overseas content providers. They knew they could either make some money from little NZ or no money. Much more money was spent on local content then too because of the licence fee.

Now it's a bidding war and with TV3's debt and TVNZ's dividends to pay thrown in too they struggle against Sky.

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  # 558516 16-Dec-2011 00:43
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Sky is possibly buying up a lot of them. One of the main reasons netflix wasn't coming to NZ was because of content agreements, and they can choose to air them or not. There are a lot of good programs that don't see the light of day in NZ.
TVNZs line up these days largely consists of reality programs, freakshow styled documentaries (eg embarrassing bodies, tallest person in the world, the worlds biggest tumor etc. Also lots of cooking and lifestyle programs which are essentially just advertorials with all the product placements in them. There does seem to be a push towards people paying for paytv, especially as the gov are looking at subsidising the paytv box igloo, and TVNZ is no longer a public broadcaster and is shutting down tvnz7.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 558622 16-Dec-2011 10:34

Compared with years gone by, there is more quality content now than ever. It's just spread around a lot of channels. Some great programs have gone unnoticed and un watched to the point where they've been dropped. I think the main problem is that viewers are too lazy now to find them. We can always look back through rose coloured memories of the good old days...




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  # 558631 16-Dec-2011 10:51
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mattwnz: Sky is possibly buying up a lot of them. One of the main reasons netflix wasn't coming to NZ was because of content agreements, and they can choose to air them or not. There are a lot of good programs that don't see the light of day in NZ.
TVNZs line up these days largely consists of reality programs, freakshow styled documentaries (eg embarrassing bodies, tallest person in the world, the worlds biggest tumor etc. Also lots of cooking and lifestyle programs which are essentially just advertorials with all the product placements in them. There does seem to be a push towards people paying for paytv, especially as the gov are looking at subsidising the paytv box igloo, and TVNZ is no longer a public broadcaster and is shutting down tvnz7.


Igloo is not getting subsidising from the government. Igloo was rejected quickly from that process according to an updated stuff article. The subsidising is likely to be for the cheapest freeview certified dvb-t or dvb-s boxes. This will come down to money and the less the govt spend the better.

I find plenty to watch on freeview most days, in the off days (Wed/Thurs) at the moment I have plenty recorded to catch up on.




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  # 558649 16-Dec-2011 11:29
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prime is delivering some quality dramas, dr who and torchwood. they use to show robin hood. castle is on tvone (not sure how behind this is, not a fan of that show), bones on tv 3, lots and lots of CSI and NCIS. theres harrys law on tv one aswell but thats a season behind (and not all that great, david e kelley recycling old shows)

but when i think of the best dramas on tv i think of dexter, torchwood, game of thrones, supernatural, er was always good, house, the walking dead.

most of those are smaller cable shows and dont seem to do that well in NZ, in primetime its mostly reality tv show crap (its cheap to make)

most of my tv watching is on Soho and prime (they're playing whose line uk :)) i use to watch a lot of TV 2 and 3 when they had good dramas on (ER, heroes, third watch days)

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  # 558876 17-Dec-2011 05:03
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I miss Heroes, Prison Break, 24, Alias, Veronica Mars... shows like that. Reruns are sometimes on late at night (like Alias at the moment). When Four was launched I was really disappointed that they didn't go HD. A lot of my favourite shows and movies that I would be tempted to watch which were or could have been in HD on 3 are now showing on Four in SD.

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