National hands it over for Rupert Murdoch
Labour keeping an eye on Sky
Sky Television may have persuaded the Government to kill off a sweeping review of broadcasting regulations, but it still has some way to go to remove the threat to its business that could be posed by a returning Labour government. Labour broadcasting spokesman Brendon Burns says the Government has a "cosy relationship with Sky", and argues Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman's decision to terminate the review was based more on philosophy than fact. He has accused Dr Coleman of misrepresenting advice provided by Culture and Heritage Ministry officials when canning the review, kicked off by Labour in 2007. "If you look at our environment, it is the most unregulated broadcasting sector in the Western World. We have no real regulation of broadcasting, no `anti-syphoning' legislation, no cross-media ownership laws and no requirement for New Zealand content. "Dr Coleman's stated position is that consumers have never had so much choice, that there are 80 channels out there, mostly on the Sky platform. My question would be, does that deliver to all of the needs and aspirations of New Zealanders?"
Well having been a broadcaster on Sky, I can safely say no. But the problem for small broadcasters was more to do with NZ on Air and their funding requirement that is set up for the big players as opposed to the small players who arguably are doing more than the broadcasting monoliths to “deliver all of the needs and aspirations of NZers”.
Coleman doesn’t really seem to have a public position on Broadcasting, his policy before the election was 332 words long (that’s a text message, not a policy), and his first move other than banning any review was to hand over to Rupert Murdock at Sky TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 WITHOUT getting Prime for Freeview! It’s astounding that Coleman would hand over to Freeview’s competitor the two channels that make Freeview unique, yet NOT SEEK to gain Prime for Freeview. No one in the media has really questioned why National would bend over for Rupert Murdock and take it so royally, but it shows Coleman has no problems in denigrating Public Broadcasting for his corporate mates. It bodes ill for TVNZ remaining in public ownership and a total obliteration to Public Broadcasting in NZ.
Bomber’s Blog – the war on News starts this Friday, 9.15pm Sky 89, Freeview 21 and Triangle.