NHNZ managing director Kyle Murdoch has slammed New
Zealand television networks as ''archaic'' after they declined
to take content from its new children's TV channel.
This comes as the Dunedin-based firm's ZooMoo channel, aimed
at 3- to 6-year-olds, launches in Latin America today after
partnering with the United States' largest satellite service
Mr Murdoch said it was disappointing the company had not had
comparable success trying to get content from the educational
animal-based channel on New Zealand television.
''We have tried really hard to get inside New Zealand TV. We
have been turned down by pretty much everyone.
''We have pitched it to TVNZ, we have pitched to to TV3, we
have pitched it to Maori TV, we have pitched it to Sky,'' he
He put this partly down to New Zealand's strict rules on the
amount of advertising allowed during children's TV, but also
due to the lack of vision at the networks.
''When you are dealing with traditional New Zealand
broadcasters, they are so archaic.
''The people in the commissioning positions ... have been in
the same positions for the last 20 years.''
He did not see a bright future for traditional broadcast
television, going as far as saying ''TV is kind of dead,
''[New Zealand TV networks] are completely going to be in
decline, because they are just not up to date.''
The networks had given ''some ridiculous feedback, like
saying that our programmes aren't innovative enough''.
This was ''rubbish'' as the channel, which had an associated
app, was at the ''leading edge'' of ''trans-media
It was still in discussion with both Spark's subscription
internet TV service, Lightbox, and Sky about having some of
its content available online as video on demand.
However, he felt the best course of action would likely be to
go it alone in New Zealand and launch an online video on
Despite not making it on to New Zealand TV, it was an
''exciting time'' at NHNZ as it sought ''global domination''
for its children's channelToday's launch in Latin America
involved partnering with the largest US satellite TV company,
DirecTV - which had global revenue of $US31.7 billion last
year - potentially opening the way to the lucrative US
''It's like getting to bed with Sky on steroids. They are
just that much bigger than anything in the New Zealand
The Latin America launch came after the channel was already
on the air in Brazil and Singapore and ahead of a launch in
Indonesia next month.
He expected it would take three to five years to really
''grow the brand''.
The company also hoped to ''roll out another few channels'',
but he was unsure when this might happen.
''We want to make more channels, but we would have to do
market research to determine what those actual channels would
A spokeswoman for Mediaworks, which owns TV3, declined to
comment, apart from saying the channel selected content based
on viewer demand.
A TVNZ spokeswoman also declined to comment on the criticism,
only commenting on the funding situation for children's TV.
''There's a limited amount of local production funding to go
around and that means some kids' shows will get made while
others won't, despite having a lot going for them.''