The Maori Television Service - after five years - realises that putting their news on their website might be handy. Dyathink.
It's been a real pain having TVNZ and TV3 with great news websites - and MTS having nothing. I've gone in a post to refer to something I've seen on Te Kaea and... I can't link to anything - there is zero online presence for their news. Well, that seems to have changed, but even now Te Kaea is in video clip form - there are no articles or anything that any other serious news service would have. Is it really that much of a budget issue to get someone to put the text of the reports on their website? The whole lot is translated into English at some point every night before it goes into the subtitled repeat at 11:30pm.
The appearance is that by not having a news website they are not taking the news seriously. Like a blog without a comments section. It would be wrong to think that their news and current affairs isn't credible, but they are thinking of it as a show rather than as the news. A presence on another platform is a great way to build audience and enhance brand credibility. Compare that with TVNZ's rumoured move - made official today by Dr Coleman:
Broadcasting Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman has commended TVNZ and SKY for the announcement this afternoon that from 1 July 2009 TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 will be broadcast on SKY.
The Minister commented publicly last week about his desire to see TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 on the SKY platform.
How much arm-twisting on his part is unclear. When I attended the briefing for the channels in February last year the man from TVNZ digital said that any move to put them on Sky would be a slow suicide - I think that's the phrase he used. So what does that signal for the future viability of 6 and 7 if that bleak scenario is true?
With no exclusive channels Freeview will fail to differentiate itself in content and will always be less than Sky (no matter how many channels it can carry - Sky will always carry more). The lack of content will be the point of difference with Sky now - under this policy. This erodes the relative value of having Freeview over having Sky and as the primary backer of the platform, the Crown risks damaging its position by changing the plans again - just as they did in earlier attempts and only after a great deal of money was spent.
But for Sky viewers this news is excellent - for two reasons: Media 7, and Backbenchers.