Following more than two decades with TVNZ, director of content Jeff Latch has handed in his resignation.
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Buying content is easy. But getting viewers to tune in so you can make money from it is a whole other channel. We chat to TVNZ’s Jeff Latch and Andrew Shaw about how they’re planning to address the latter part of this equation.
We take a look at yesterday’s new season announcement to see how TVNZ is reacting to convergence and what it is going to fill the screens with, with a line up including Survivor New Zealand, Filthy Rich and new international hits.
The ladles and the drills came to blows last year, as the local editions of My Kitchen Rules (MKR NZ) and The Block saw TVNZ and MediaWorks go head to head with their respective multi-night format shows. And the competitive banter between the networks is set to continue this year, with both shows returning to Kiwi screens. The first round of the bout went to MediaWorks, with the Block coming out on top in the 25-54 demographic as it attracted an audience of 158,800, narrowly ahead of the 157,100 people who tuned in to watch MKR.
As we’ve seen with the Campbell Live debate, fans believe the importance of the show can’t be reduced to ratings because it also serves an important social function. And broadcasters seem to be saying something similar when quantifying the success of reality shows that include a high level of sponsorship integration because they are leading to commercial results for advertisers. So is that also the case for the inaugural season of Our First Home, which wrapped up earlier this week after three live auctions?
After five successful seasons, TVNZ has decided to pull the plug on MasterChef NZ to focus on other multi-night formats, including new drama Filthy Rich and new DIY porn Our First Home. And while TVNZ basks in the soapy ratings sunlight of Home & Away and Shortland St, MediaWorks is looking to follow suit and is asking for submissions for its own multi-night soap.
MediaWorks was pretty cocky at its new season launch a few weeks ago. And, not surprisingly, so was Television New Zealand, which unveiled its primetime plans for the year ahead at the Viaduct Events Centre tonight, talked up its local content/international output combo, revealed its big programme partnership with Purina and, in recognition of the success of shows like My Kitchen Rules and The Block NZ, announced a new focus on multi-night screening.
It aims to put on good shows all year, and, with a selection of its stars wheeled in (including a performance from the biggest of them all, Billy’s Big Brass Brand), a few branded ice sculptures (rumour has it new chief executive Kevin Kenrick fashioned them with his bare hands), lots of bass, some slick production and plenty of delicious things in spoons, TVNZ certainly put on a good one last night to launch its 2013 season.
The TV industry, here and around the world, is currently dealing with some major challenges, but all that serious business was mostly forgotten on Saturday night as the stars—from in front of and from behind the camera—of the local industry turned up to accentuate the positive at the 2012 New Zealand Television Awards. And in the annual (mostly) two horse race, it was MediaWorks that wrested the big news prizes off TVNZ, and TVNZ that took home most of the prizes in the drama and reality sections.
Over 2.6 million New Zealanders tuned in to watch series three of MasterChef New Zealand, with an average 590,000 Kiwis aged five-plus watching every week making for a nine percent increase on season two and a 14 percent increase on season one. And the producers have had to clear up some confusion when a bit of social media Chinese whispering took hold after some unmentioned goings on in the final came to viewers’ attention.
As an array of talent shows fill our screens, the sound of wannabes is nigh-on inescapable. But whatever your opinion on the worth of such content, there’s no denying they’re popular. And TVNZ is planning to add to the melee with a multi-million dollar local production of NZ’s Got Talent that will screen on TV ONE.
… (except from vending machines) as Karl Fleet departs Colenso to sit on a throne in the Campaign Palace, Interbrand welcomes a new senior designer, Andrew Spear takes up the rod at NZ Fishing World, PPR shacks up with big comms behemoth Burson-Masteller, Frucor drinks in a new chief executive, Keiran Frost moves up the Orange chain and TVNZ renews its free-to-air deal with Warner Bros.