Research shows majority of Kiwis want TVNZ ad-free

New research shows the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders want TVNZ to go ad-free.

The research was commissioned by the Better Public Media (BPM) Trust into ways to improve public media funding and policy.

According to the research, almost two-thirds of respondents supported ad-free weekends on TV One, with only 9 percent opposed.

And a significant majority of 60 percent supported making TV One completely non-commercial, with just 11 percent opposed.

Other popular options included taxing big tech companies like Facebook and Google to support New Zealand programmes and media.

The research results.
The research results. Photo credit: Better Public Media Trust

It comes as Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi is developing a new broadcasting strategy, which he says will be released by the end of the year.

"The Minister has signalled that an announcement on media policy will be coming before the end of the year, and we at Better Public Media thought it was about time someone asked the public what they want from their Government," says BPM director Myles Thomas.

"The response was an overwhelming 'yes please!' with some options recording huge support. Removing advertising from TV One is very favourable, even more so on weekends, and there is strong support to decommercialise the whole of TVNZ."

Less popular were options to expand Radio New Zealand into an ad-free television channel (RNZ+), or to combine TV One, TV2, RNZ and Māori Television into a large ad-free broadcaster and media outlet, although these options still had more approvals than disapprovals.

The research also found the public are still most likely to watch free-to-air TV every day.

"While there may be a trend to online viewing, that trend seems to be slowing down, and there's no guarantee that it will continue across all sectors of New Zealand," Thomas says.

"Those watching television every day are more likely to be older and lower-income people, which suggests that the digital divide should be a significant factor in Government policy."