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Local TV content steady in 2016

New Zealanders enjoyed slightly more new local television content last year but less local content in prime time.

The Local Content Report, a study of local content on mainstream channels that NZ On Air has prepared since 1989, shows relatively steady levels of local content in a challenging economic environment.

The Local Content Report looks at the amount of locally produced content by genre on seven free-to-air channels. Since the report began local content has increased 468%.

Key findings for 2016 were:

  • First run local content (new) was up by 4%, or 266 hours more than 2015. This was partly due to Olympic Games coverage on Prime and additional investment by MediaWorks.
  • Local content comprised 31% of prime time schedules (down from 36% in 2015).
  • The biggest increase in any genre was Entertainment programming which was up 42%, largely influenced by new nightly programme Family Feud on Three.
  • Documentary, Drama/Comedy, Sports and Māori programming for a general audience all increased, while General Factual and Children’s programming were down.
  • Repeat programming was down 1%.

NZ On Air funded content accounts for a relatively small portion of local content overall because the agency does not invest in the high volume genres of Sports, News and most Current Affairs. These genre account for 45% of the local content in TV schedules.

In 2016 NZ On Air funded content was 15% of all local content broadcast, up 1% from 2015.

“At a time when viewers have more choice than ever it is good to see local content continuing to hold its own in TV schedules. Local programming is as good as anything in the world, and ensures New Zealanders see and hear themselves, their stories and issues,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

The full report is available here.