TVNZ begins to get it right, but still plenty wrong

By abandoning paid content on TVNZ OnDemand, TVNZ’s Jason Paris demonstrates that he gets it. Jason’s a smart guy, and it seems that the people have spoken – by watching ad-supported content and staying away from the paid content.


Well done – a good step.

Of course Jason et al are seriously constrained by obsolete copyright restrictions, and so were probably unable to ask me for money by selling actual content, rather than just renting it. If I could download episodes, a la iTunes, then I could have been convinced.

But then again, any time you ask for money, it’s a pain, whereas watching a short ad is much easier for us all to endure.

Of course enduring TV advertisements isn’t something we like to do these days – as the ad/program ratio ceased to make sense years ago. So I can only hope and encourage TVNZ and advertisers to keep the length of those ads to a minimum – the current 30 second maximum is far too much to sit through online – there is plenty of other stuff to do.

There are a few more issues with TVNZ On Demand to resolve. Foremost to me sitting in Perth, and wanting to feel connected to NZ, is why the heck can’t I watch the 6 O’Clock news?


I initially suspected that is because many of the foreign sourced news items are licensed to NZ only, and that to get a global license would be cripplingly expensive.

But then again – I cannot even see a TVNZ video of an interview by Paul Holmes with Sir Ed Hilary back in 1996. Nor can I see anything else.

Now that is just ridiculous, and TVNZ surely loses tens if not hundreds of thousand of viewers and dollars by constraining foreign IP addresses, and TVNZ’s mandate surely includes broadcasting the best of NZ to the world. The Government should be thinking about ways to bring the diaspora back home – and this is one weapon.

Next however, is that the content is embedded inside a proprietary website and flash player. We can’t do much with that. Unleash it. Let us download programs to our computers, ipods and phones so we can watch and re-watch it at leisure.

Indeed TVNZ On Demand could achieve the desired goals of disseminating their great content, and making revenue from it, by partnering and placing all their content on YouTube.

and so they have.

(I told you Jason was a smart guy)

youtube  There are a few good Fair Go stories..

But sadly the overall execution is not there yet, constrained I imagine, by that horrible copyright problem. There are only 211 videos uploaded, which is bugger-all when many of them are merely articles from a news broadcast.


OneNews itself isn’t even there, so we can forget about following today’s Kiwi-oriented news on YouTube. But we can only imagine at the vast depths of videos available to TVNZ that would be fantastic to place up on YouTube.

Here’s one – the Ed Hillary obit from TVOne.

So – some recent great steps by TVNZ, but I suspect the next steps involve an army of lawyers and lobbyists rather than the few people and technology required to upload that vast library on to YouTube.

TVNZ please hurry up – we already have real broadband in the rest of the world, and viewers are waiting.

Published by Lance Wiggs


2 replies on “TVNZ begins to get it right, but still plenty wrong”

Comments are closed.