As I sit here, relaxing in the beautiful Bay of Plenty with an ice cold beverage in my hand, it’s time to get all nostalgic with a look back at the year that was for media – in particular, television.
Undisputedly the saddest event of the past year was the Christchurch Earthquakes – the most notable ones occurring in February, June and December. Ttelevision broadcasting in our fair country was brought to a standstill in February, while news came in of a climbing death toll and increasing damage. Poor Cantabrians have not had a good run this year, and the recent shakes in December have not made things any easier, although news of no deaths so far has been positive. Here’s hoping to 2012 being less damaging to our country!
TVNZ U and FOUR launch
It was a case of out with the old, in with the new, as TVNZ culled off TVNZ 6 and replaced it with social-media-oriented, youth-aligned TVNZ U. The new channel has a focus on reality, and features a live show which integrates with Twitter and Facebook feeds to provide a truly dynamic, enveloping experience.
For Mediaworks, it was a matter of pushing existing channel C4 off of its far-reaching analogue and digital pedestal, and shunning it to Freeview-only status. The replacement that was ushered in was FOUR, a general entertainment channel that has aimed to expose New Zealand to more imported content from overseas. The Freeview-only state of C4 should fare well as a form of incentive when New Zealand has to start making the decision between Freeview or Sky late next year.
TVNZ announces budget pay TV network
Last month, TVNZ and Sky announced a digital TV partnership that will see a new form of digital TV be ushered in next year. The first half of 2012 will see the introduction of a combined Freeview-based service with 12 new premium channels. The price point for this new service takes direct aim at the median between Freeview and Sky’s subscription fees (or lack thereof), settling at $25 a month (approximately). Only time will tell if TVNZ can affect change on our current television landscape.
The General Election saw the re-appointment of the National Party, serving their second consecutive term. As a result, the New Zealand Labour Party saw the stepping down of leader Phil Goff, who was later replaced by David Shearer, and the Green Party receive a record 11% of the party vote. Not to mention New Zealand First returning to Parliament and ACT receiving a mere one seat – and not for their then leader.
Rugby World Cup
No matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t ignore the Rugby World Cup, as we played host to various countries the world over. Ultimately, the fruits of our labour were seen in the form of a great victory – and in a very tense final, too.
Paul Henry hired by Mediaworks
Amid much controversy, broadcaster Paul Henry was hired by Mediaworks for various hosting duties throughout the year – in particular, upcoming show Would I Lie To You? Subsequently, he was picked up for Australian breakfast television, however, he remains faithful to his obligations in New Zealand.
Desperate Housewives comes to a close
ABC in the United States announced that the curtains would fall on Desperate Housewives, with the final season screening in New Zealand in February 2012, on TV2. The series appears to be ending on a high note, much like Outrageous Fortune did last year.
And that’s just the events that spring to mind! If you have any personal commentary on these events, or remember anything that’s been missed there, just post below.