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CBB Budget analysis and blog responses

Here's our recent press release about the 2014 Budget (with a correction courtesy of MCH) with a cople of blog responses.

17 May 2014

The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is disappointed at the lack of recognition for Radio NZ in the 2014 Budget. In fact the Budget represents a drop in funding for the public broadcasting sector in general, delivering gains to Sky TV in the process.

  • Radio NZ must survive another year on 2008 budget levels. This is despite warnings from RNZ bosses they are close to having to make cuts to their on-air service. Who does this favour? Commercial radio networks such as Mediaworks, the company partly established by Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce.
  • Freeview loses government funding of $2.5m. This means Freeview cannot move into on-demand services and will suffer in the marketing battle against SKY TV and Vodafone TV. Who does this favour? Freeview's commercial opposition, SKY TV and Vodafone TV.
  • Pacific Broadcasting is cut by half a million dollars losing a sixth of it's budget. Broadcasting to Pacific Islands provides TV services to NZ dependants and strengthens NZ influence in our 'backyard'. Who does this favour? Other countries are vying for influence in the Pacific including China and Australia. A reduction in our TV services increases their influence. CORRECTION: The $500k cut from budget line 'Pacific Brodcasting and Transmission' is for reduced transmission in NZ since DSO and not for Pacific Broadcasting. Unfortunately both were on the same budget line.
  • NZ on Air receives a funding boost of $500,000. This is a minuscule amount which actually only reinstates money diverted to NZ Film Archive for the last few years. Who does this favour? No-one really, it's a fudge.
  • TVNZ Archive gets $2m as a separate allocation from TVNZ. This is to fund the merger with NZ Film Archive. With the archive removed from TVNZ expenses TVNZ may be expected to return $2m more in dividend. What is the impact? The creation of separate funding for a separate Film and TV Archive paves the way for the sale of TVNZ.
  • In the Maori Affairs allocation, Iwi Radio funding has increased by $3m ending a funding freeze of 13 years! Iwi Radio has been waiting far too long for this but we applaud the increase. On this basis RNZ will get their next funding increase in 2021. Who does this favour? Iwi Radio and it's many listeners.

And here is the response from Throng's Regan Cunliffe and Kiwiblog's David Farrar, thanks to them both for the interesting feedback. Please feel free to continue the conversation by posting comments on their blogs.

www.throng.co.nz/2014/05/impartial-coalition-better-broadcasting

www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/05/radio_nz_well_off_compared_to_the_abc.html

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