Good news: World TV is launching a new English-language Freeview channel. Bad news: The plug has already been pulled on TVNZ 6. TVNZ 7 will be gone by June, replaced with a shopping channel run by Ogilvy. And Stratos TV closed down with nary a whimper on 23 December 2012, leaving the writing on the wall for Triangle.
It is all go in the TV broadcasting industry at the moment. With public service television increasingly seen as ‘nice to have’, and the Government refusing to fund any more public television other than Maori TV and NZ on Air, regional channels will be struggling to stay afloat come June. When the digital switchover occurs, they’ll lose their access to free frequencies and will have to pay Kordia for the use of digital ones. Something Triangle and other non-commercial channels will likely be unable to afford.
But to counter all that doom and gloom, local Chinese-language station World TV is launching WTV9, their first English-language channel. It will be focussed on informing Kiwis about what’s going on in Asia. Launching on 1 February, to coincide with the Chinese New Year, the programming will also be simulcast on a new radio station – Radio 9 on FM104.2.
World TV operates ten pay TV channels, in Japanese, Korean and Chinese, on top of its two free-to-air channels and four radio channels. But this will be its first foray into English. It will screen English programmess from China’s state-owned television network, CCTV.