Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Future of the Future

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  • James Littlewood*,

    For FTA telly to survive, either:

    - Narrow cast advertising will have to get its act together (give my Freeview entire channels of ads scheduled just for me);
    - The gummint will have to reintroduce the broadcasting fee (where do I sign?).

    Can anyone tell us how much of the current TVNZ6 & 7 content is going to continue to be funded into the land of future Barbosia?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I'm with James. I think that a licensing fee will be coming back in some form or other for FTA TV, and I too am completely willing to pay it. Sky TV is going to have to get it's act together. I'm not that happy to keep on paying around $80 per month for a service that is basically repeats, and doesn't work when it's raining heavily. And, you know, as someone who watches alot of TV, most of it FTA, I want there to be more local content.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish.MacEwan,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    It is good to see this activity happening when, for a while, no one seemed to be bothering. Nevertheless, it is a bit rich that Prime (owned by Sky) is screening a serious 7-part doco series 50 Year of Television, whilst TV One is is offering a one-off quiz show featuring 'celebrities'.

    If it ain't too cheeky, I would invite people to check out my new research site http://www.historyoftvinnz.com and register and post comments. It is designed for New Zealanders to post their memories and experiences of television in New Zealand (with an emphasis on the second 25 years) and is primarily for academic purposes. Giovanni kindly posted news of this site a while back, so this is just a reminder and a plea.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2285 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    doesn't work when it's raining heavily

    Seriously, WTF is with that? 'Rain fade' can bite me. (And a power cut zapped our new MySky within a month of purchase, so it had to be replaced. Crisis!)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    NZ produces a lot of quality TV shows with high ratings potential that never make it onto our screens - a symptom of junk food economics. Partly because of that, I've basically opted out for the last 6 years or so.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4154 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    I'm also interested in your thoughts about the future of television.

    How about a conversation about whether, on the whole, television is a good thing or a bad thing?

    I grew watching heaps of TV. My mum and dad both work in TV. I loved it.

    But as I got older, TV got less and less good.

    Just yesterday, somebody reminded me of an episode of Diff'rent Strokes in which the two black kids had trouble doing an aptitude test for a private school because the questions were biased toward upper-middle class white students.

    Imagine seeeing that on TV today? I'd drop dead.

    Which is why I haven't watched TV for three years.

    My hand was forced: there was nothing to watch on TV 1-3 or Prime and I don't want to pay for Sky.

    And frankly, I don't understand the rest.

    I know more and more people that don't watch TV at all either.

    TV was always junk food but it used to be good junk food.

    Now it blows.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Speaking of television and anniversaries, Philip has written a great post on Merata Mita, with the link to Tapu! at NZ On Screen.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just yesterday, somebody reminded me of an episode of Diff'rent Strokes in which the two black kids had trouble doing an aptitude test for a private school because the questions were biased toward upper-middle class white students.

    There was also the pre-Bell Curve IQ Test episode of Good Times .

    But ...

    Imagine seeeing that on TV today? I'd drop dead.

    I'm guessing The Wire was past your bedtime?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    TV was always junk food but it used to be good junk food.
    Now it blows.

    I couldn't disagree more with this. I actually think there has never been a better time for television in terms of quality drama series (blah blah The Wire, blah blah Mad Men, blah blah...). The problem lies with finding out when the good stuff is scheduled ( Friday Night Lights at midnight on Thursdays: terrific!), and with the sheer amount of stuff to watch. I'm guilty of being sucked in to Real World: Washington DC when I should really be watching that DVD of Homicide: Life on the Street I've owned for a year, for example.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    I'm guessing The Wire was past your bedtime?

    I'd finished Season 5 by mid-last year.

    I'm talking about free to air TV. Old time TV.

    Comparing Diff'rent Strokes to The Wire is pretty pathetic.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'd finished Season 5 by mid-last year.

    I'm talking about free to air TV. Old time TV.

    Well, The Wire did show on free to air TV in New Zealand.

    What you're noting is an important shift in viewing habits, but it was made as television.

    Comparing Diff'rent Strokes to The Wire is pretty pathetic.

    If you say so. You seemed to be implying that robust social commentary had disappeared from television. I think it really hasn't. Although I'll grant you that there was a period where 70s US sitcoms were characterised by social commentary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I'm talking about free to air TV. Old time TV.

    The Wire was free to air here. As long as you could find it. We get a bunch of HBO stuff free to air here - The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men - so in those terms we're actually better off here than in the States.

    I find the 'it's crap so I don't watch it' argument a bit strange. If you don't watch TV, how do you know it's crap?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4339 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Just yesterday, somebody reminded me of an episode of Diff'rent Strokes in which the two black kids had trouble doing an aptitude test for a private school because the questions were biased toward upper-middle class white students.

    Imagine seeeing that on TV today? I'd drop dead.

    Two words: The Wire. And don't tell me any network would have taken a pitch from David Simon and David Mills back in 1978 when 'Different Strokes' and 'Benson' passed for edgy, and 'Hill Street Blues' was downright radical.

    And I don't want to piss on Garry Coleman's freshly dug grave, but I certainly hope any network being pitched that patronising load of shit today would respond with "what'choo talking 'bout, honky?" Then again, Sandra Bullock got an Oscar rather than a slap upside her cracker head for The Blind Side (or 'Guess What's Coming To Dinner -- a stupid nigra who's good at sports but needs some tough love from Sarah Palin's evil twin').

    There was also the pre-Bell Curve IQ Test episode of Good Times.

    Ah yes, that's the show John Amos and Esther Rolle infamously bailed out of because they thought they were signing up for a comedy about a functional black family, not feeding Jimmy Walker's buffoonish minstrelsy. "I never steal anything. I just find things!" Oy...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11859 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    The Wire did show on free to air TV in New Zealand.

    Wasn't it on at some bizarre time?

    You seemed to be implying that robust social commentary had disappeared from television. I think it really hasn't.

    I'm simply saying that TV has become incredibly shallow and boring. The same thing is happening with movies. People still go to really bad movies. Aren't they doing a remake of 'The A-Team'? I can't wait till my kids are watching remakes of remakes.

    My main problem with TV is that when we have one it sets the after-work tempo of my life. It also forces me to watch soap commercials until I hit mute and walk away.

    Doesn't anyone else in here feel as if they are being spoken to as if they are soft in the head whilst watching TV?

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    The Wire was free to air here. As long as you could find it. We get a bunch of HBO stuff free to air here - The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men - so in those terms we're actually better off here than in the States.

    Yes I know that. But didn't start its life as free to air.

    DIdn't Mad Men get cancelled in NZ? I loved their needlessly anti-semitic adverts before the launch, though.

    Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Wammo,

    I'd like to see a few independent internet based networks created in New Zealand. An example of this is revision3 based in the US. It creates a collection of niche shows, initially tech based but now captures a wider array of topics. Production values are high but there's generally a DIY aesthetic to them. Each show creates a loyal community and the network can sell ad packages across many brands. It's targeted content to viewers who can't find this kind of content on traditional channels. The network delivers the content out over multiple channels (Embedded video, iTunes, YouTube, RSS and set-top boxes such as Roku).

    I see this as a possibility here in New Zealand. Separate from TVNZ, Mediaworks or Sky. Good content need not be overly expensive to produce and only needs a few adventurous advertisers/sponsors to get off the ground.

    As long as the content has legs outside of New Zealand as well. My experience of producing video for the web has been a real eye opener to the possibilities for Radio/TV distribution. Content from The Radio Wammo Show has had over 160,000 views since I started. That's substantially more than listen over the wireless. Perhaps the Radio Wammo Show is just the beginning? We'll see.

    Get us some fibre and then we can really start to shake things up...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Loved the Captain Cook series on Prime, despite the breathlessly breathy ginga presenter.

    And The First Australians on Maori - it's encyclopoedic or however you spell yer dipthongs.

    Miles of brilliant stuff for the whole family (grief, listen to me) on 6 and 7. A whole show about DOC - wow. Pub politics, for real. And of course, Mr Brown's watchful gaze on the media - and medium - itself.

    Mind, the old JC Matthews 320G Freeview recorder has changed everything. Despite the occasional clunky usability, there's now a surplus of good telly in my lounge. If you live life by the broadcasters' schedule, the options must vanish witheringly.

    Brickley may have a point. Who cares the original screening venue? FTA telly failed to deliver it to her.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    DIdn't Mad Men get cancelled in NZ?

    Nope -- but Prime did shunt it off to a graveyard slot and stopped promoting it. But just because the thought processes of the domestic television programmers, like the peace of God, surpasseth human understanding doesn't mean that there's not a hell of a lot of good television out there. I just get a lot of content on DVD and various other *cough* channels nowadays (the only thing even tempting me to get Sky is UKTV cheerfully hoovering up the kind of "quality" British drama -- 'Cranford', 'Little Dorrit', anything Andrew Davies has his name on -- that used to be the anchor of One's Sunday night schedule); and if the FTA networks aren't going to wake up to that, that's their loss.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11859 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Doesn't anyone else in here feel as if they are being spoken to as if they are soft in the head whilst watching TV?

    Brickley, yep. Can't stand it.

    Hence: freeview recorder. Miles of free content, view at leisure, ads over in a blinding 16x FF flash.

    But: who's gonna pay for the content in the long run?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I can't wait till my kids are watching remakes of remakes.

    Do you know how many film versions of A Star is Born there are? 'Twas ever thus.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Wasn't it on at some bizarre time?

    Wait, it's not free to air if it's on at 11pm?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6161 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    I'd like to see more stuff - especially cool reruns and remakes - in the graveyard slot: 12 - 6 am, for recording more than live viewing.

    Maybe also FFing the ads will result in the Max Headroom commercial nirvana: b-b-blipverts!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Do you know how many film versions of A Star is Born there are? 'Twas ever thus.

    Do you think Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are in literary heaven, bitching their agents' shades for not keeping up their copyrights? :) Last year saw the BBC's third pass at Emma, and while it wasn't a P&P sized ratings smash and the reviews were mixed, to put it mildly, I can't see any reason for the Beeb to get out of the glossy costume drama game...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11859 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    there's only one thing I wanna know: does this fancy dan future telly come with a jet pack?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 306 posts Report Reply

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