Thursday, April 19, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | All Blacks, Face TV3 Commercials Ban on Home Turf

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News came across this "oh God, let me hold my head in my hands" broadcasting story from TV3 New Zealand. In reading it, bear in mind that New Zealanders just cannot get enough of their favourite boys in black shorts - the All Blacks. They are walking idols on and off the rugby turf. Canwest Mediaworks terrestrial TV network, TV3 paid a small fortune to outbid rival consortium of Sky TV - Television New Zealand for the New Zealand territorial TV rights to the 2007 Rugby World Cup games live, directly by satellite from France. But an archaic section of the New Zealand Broadcasting Act bans Sunday morning commercial advertising on the TV. Something the Government says it will NOT change. On a Sunday morning, if you are a New Zealander, you can wake up to radio commercials, and read your oversized Sunday newspaper full of special sections and related special print advertisements, view the Internet broadcasts - but no, watching the tele with ads, ain't on! And this is the information era where audiences drive the way their information should be distributed not some bureaucrat, pontificating on the consumers' behalf. Even at New Zealand's national TV - TVNZ, shows its programs with advertisement spots on Sunday mornings - not on its terrestrial transmitter network but via the Internet! A cat and mouse game is on between the Minister of Broadcasting, Steve Maharey and CanWest on, how on earth TV3 will carry ads in a banned time segment early on a Sunday morning. Oh yes that is when the best games take place, five out of seven in fact, allowing for the time difference between France and New Zealand! However, the Broadcasting Act states that the ban can be waived if the programme's signal originates outside New Zealand and is produced and transmitted simultaneously to New Zealand and overseas audiences. There is also something about a 5 second acknowledgement in recognition of a supporting commercial organisation. CanWest, PR front man, Roger Beaumont is quoted in New Zealand media as saying that TV3 has found the solution the TV network was keeping it under wraps. The International Rugby Board, licensor of the Rugby World Cup is expected to market and present its own World Cup packages on the Internet, through TV3 which will promote the games and revenue share. So it is wait and see when the tournament starts how CanWest MediaWorks make a commercial success of this huge project in terms of cost. After much searching on the official rugby world cup sites, Digital Broadcasters Vendor News found the dates of this year's Rugby World Cup (the 6th edition) Friday September 7, 2007 to Saturday October 20, 2007. The dates were buried deep in an FAQ section. The French like to keep these things quiet.

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