6. Hottest TV Channel: TVNZ1
Nominees: ThreeLife, Sky Sport, Soho, Viceland
It’s been a big year for TVNZ 1, with the Commonwealth Games action, an election coverage boost, some major personnel changes to flagship shows and acquiring of big sports rights. TVNZ content director Cate Slater updates us on how the channel is tracking and why it deserves the Hottest Channel crown.
What have been some of the highlights/success stories for TVNZ 1 over the last year? What are some of its new programmes in the past year?
1 brings us together. Seven Sharp’s Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells, The Caskeeter’s Frances and Kaiora, Jools and Lynda Topp, the farms of Country Calendar – it’s New Zealand’s characters, places and stories that are the life force of the channel.
TVNZ 1 is a powerhouse brand. It’s the home of local content and New Zealand’s most watched channel. We’re proud more than half of our line up consists of local shows and talent. This gives 1 a distinct point of difference in the TV landscape.
1’s Sunday Theatre season is the gold standard of premium New Zealand drama. Loved by viewers, this season’s always got more power than the Manapouri hydro station. Last year we brought the unforgettable story of Chris Crean’s bravery in Resolve, which was a massive hit. This year, I’m picking In Dark Places as the one to watch. It’s the story of Teina Pora and his main supporter Tim McKinnel. Pora is played by Richard McDonald, a young Wellington actor straight out of Toi Whakaari, and he gives an electrifying performance.
The Commonwealth Games was a major event for us. We set out to create a shared national viewing experience and we reached over 3 million New Zealanders with our coverage. Sport is playing an increasing role on 1 – with Rugby World Cup and America’s Cup sailing to look forward to.
News anchors TVNZ 1 – it starts and finishes the day. New Zealand’s best known faces are from our newsroom and there’s a lot of trust placed in the work they do. Our Election 2017 coverage again brought viewers to 1 in huge numbers. When big events happen, the country turns to us – and we know that’s a special privilege and responsibility.
What have been some of the challenges?
We do a really good job of holding our audience’s attention across our nightly news and current affairs offering. And it’s a line up that offers viewers something to watch together with their family, flatmates and friends. Later on, we know viewers seek out individual viewing experiences – that shows up post 8.30pm where audiences are fragmenting across various viewing options. The challenge is to retain these audiences in our TVNZ family, whether that’s transitioning them on to TVNZ OnDemand, or switching them to something on DUKE or 2. Our focus is all about offering viewers a great range and choice of compelling content to keep them watching with us.
What’s New Zealand’s favourite programme on the channel?
New Zealand’s a nation of news junkies and wannabe farmers! 1 News at 6pm is New Zealand’s top rating show, closely followed by Hyundai Country Calendar – 52 years young and still a huge drawcard.
TVNZ 1 is known for its pulling power to the older generation, has its audience evolved over the years?
TVNZ 1 is the most watched channel in New Zealand – it draws audiences from every stage of life and we’re really proud of that. TVNZ 1’s built this huge momentum o the back of the Commonwealth Games in its 25- 54 target demo. People probably don’t know this about 1 but it’s the number one channel in 25-54 in 2018 to date.
How does TVNZ’s OnDemand platform support its linear broadcast content?
We complement 1’s local content offering with the best in international content from around the world. We’re making premium content available to audiences with online first premieres. We’re using the platform to drive word of mouth among early adopters to increase sampling of tentpole TVNZ 1 content. Killing Eve has gone off on TVNZ OnDemand – that’s coming to 1 soon.
We’re all about giving viewer’s choice and control. We’re less concerned these days about whether viewers watch our content on broadcast TV or online – what matters is that they watch with TVNZ.
What is the focus for TVNZ 1 heading into the future?
Local is hardwired into 1’s DNA. That’s not changing anytime soon. Looking to the future, we’ll continue to offer viewers a varied slate of New Zealand best news and entertainment stories. And there’s an increasing role for big event sport in our local line up.
We want all eyes on us and the stories we tell. Expect bold and brave programming choices from TVNZ. We’re focused on remaining the most-watched – and to do that we need to keep in step with our audiences, to be relevant and a big part of their daily lives.
People’s Choice: TVNZ1
11. Hottest Reality Show: Sidewalk Karaoke
Nominees: Survivor New Zealand, Dancing With The Stars NZ, Married at First Sight New Zealand, First Dates New Zealand, Design Junkies
New Zealand’s reality TV line up offers plenty of chance to find love— through First Dates, Married at First Sight the new Heartbreak Island but what about a chance to win cash for putting your vocal talent on the line?
Māori TV’s Sidewalk Karaoke does just that as it transforms streets into a karaoke stage for Kiwis to perform on. With hosts Te Hāmua Nikora and Luke Bird at the helm, it’s real, funny and occasionally quite emotional.
CEO of Pango Productions and creator of Sidewalk Karaoke Bailey Mackey says the show was created in an attempt to make a cost-effective entertainment format. It’s now three-seasons in.
“I actually wanted to set it in a taxi, but after rehearsing I felt it just lacked energy so we literally pulled the karaoke out on the street and set up!”
Featuring three levels, contestants compete against an app that judges their speed, pitch and tone. Each round offers a cash prize, with the final offering $1000 to contestants who sing a duet with an audience member.
“It might not change your life but it can change your night,” says Mackey.
And soon it won’t just be changing the nights of talented Kiwis. The format’s caught the interest of FremantleMedia (responsible for hits American Idol and X Factor) which acquired the global TV rights to the format. Mackey says it’s starting to roll out around the world but is unable to con rm the countries as it’s not on air yet.
When the acquisition was announced in 2016, FremantleMedia executive vice president of global acquisitions and development Vasha Wallace said Sidewalk Karaoke is exactly what we know broadcasters are looking for.
“It’s high volume, cost effective and has been amazingly successful with phenomenal ratings – tripling the broadcaster’s prime time average. It’s wonderfully warm, a lot of fun to watch and suitable for the whole family.”
People’s choice: Dancing With The Stars
13. Hottest TV Host: Anika Moa
Nominees: Jeremy Wells, Jeremy Corbett, Scotty Morrison, Dai Henwood, Laura McGoldrick, Scotty Stevenson, Amanda Gillies
Anika Moa is back on our screens this year and this time, she’s probing local celebrities in unfiltered and unadulterated interviews for Anika Moa Unleashed.
Among those in her ring line have been Art Green and Matilda Rice, Paula Bennett, Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern, and the results are entertaining and enlightening viewing on TVNZ OnDemand.
While the singer-songwriter will be familiar with being interviewed, she’s also no stranger to the other side, having hosted two seasons of All Talk with Anika Moa on Māori TV.
Outside of her own series, Moa filled in for Jeremy Wells on Seven Sharp and made the role her own. One stand out moment was when she took on a tattoo troll who criticised her for displaying tattoos.
“I don’t wish to be greeted by, or see people such as police displaying tattoos, or see TV presenters displaying tattoos,” read a letter from Peter to which Moa said:
“I am really proud to have my culture on my skin. There are more important things to talk about: children going to school with no food, young suicide rates, mental health, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, prison reform.”
People’s choice: Jeremy Wells