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Survey shows TV without ads could be a vote winner

Coalition for Better Broadcasting, Auckland, 14 September 2014: Television news focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting.

AD_CBB_01Political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues.
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“Our survey shows there is considerable discontent with NZ’s television news and current affairs,” Myles Thomas, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Broadcasting said today.

AD_CBB_02To get an advert-free television channel, I would be willing to pay 20 cents per week which is roughly 10 dollars per year.
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“More than a third of New Zealanders are so dissatisfied with existing coverage that they would be prepared to pay for a better quality, non commercial television, such as TVNZ 7.”

The UMR survey of 750 people shows that 40% of New Zealanders would be willing to pay the $10 per year required to establish an advert-free television channel, and less than half the respondents opposed the idea. This suggests in principle, that a TVNZ 7 type channel could be funded by subscription, although the CBB believes such a channel should be free-to air.

“That 40% confirms that the public’s desire for non-commercial television is much stronger than the government claimed when closing down TVNZ 7, and that desire hasn’t gone away.

A vote winner?

The research reveals that over a fifth of all New Zealanders are more likely to vote for a party that promises a television channel without adverts.

“With both main parties admitting the election will be close, that represents a significant opportunity for parties that care about public service broadcasting,” Mr Thomas said.

“In particular, our research identified that a staggering 11% of National Party voters would be more likely to vote for another party, if it was offering an ad-free television channel. Maybe National should reconsider closing down TVNZ 7.

“And well over a quarter of voters aged over 60 would consider changing their vote for an ad-free channel. That’s a significant chunk of a powerful voting bloc.”

“Obviously broadcasting is a hot issue for a lot of New Zealanders, and with a single percentage swing potentially making all the difference, broadcasting policy could be a game-changer.”

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