15 Apr 2011

Academics pen open letter on TVNZ 7's demise

12:06 pm on 15 April 2011

A group of academics has written an open letter to the Government, in protest at demise of public television channel TVNZ 7.

The Government has decided not to extend funding for the channel, which screens on Freeview and Sky TV.

The group of 61 academics, mostly with backgrounds in broadcasting or other media, have asked the Government to review the funding and regulatory needs of television.

They say a decision about TVNZ 7 should be put on hold while the review takes place.

The group says commercial and pay television can not offer an adequate level of diverse and interesting programming because of pressure to maximise ratings.

Labour's broadcasting spokesperson, Clare Curran, says the party Labour welcomes a call to action to urgently address the issue, and to review funding and regulation of public broadcasting.

Ms Curran says abandoning funding for TVNZ 7 is in contrast to the recent bailout of the private media company, Mediaworks, with a $43 million deferred payment deal for its radio spectrum licence.

TVNZ 7 will shut down in June 2012.