Government may disestablish TVNZ, RNZ to create one entity

A media advisory group has recommended the Government disestablish TVNZ and RNZ and create a new public media entity.

Representatives from both media companies were part of the advisory group. It was created to look into future funding options due to the financial threat facing the media industry, reports RNZ.

The group found the current state of the industry "unsustainable" and "collectively recommended the Government agree to disestablish TVNZ and RNZ and to establish a new public media entity" reports RNZ.

The new entity would have a mixed funding model.  Some funds would come from the Crown and others from advertising, sponsorship and subscriptions, reports RNZ.

Even if the Government agreed with the recommendations of the advisory group, the process is likely to take years. 

This follows the news that MediaWorks will sell its TV arm Three amid a struggling media landscape. 

The current state of media has been described as "polluted waters" by Newshub director of news Hal Crawford in August.

This intensified when it was announced TVNZ would post a $17 million loss, and would no longer pay dividends to the Government.

"They can do whatever they like to not make a buck," Crawford said.

"They will never fold because they are 100 percent state owned."

ACT Party leader David Seymour urged broadcasting minister Kris Faafoi to "recognise the folly" of subsidising TVNZ and not forcing it to pay a dividend.

 "He should demand TVNZ pay a dividend so that whoever buys MediaWorks' TV arm is entering into a competitive market, not a rigged market," said Seymour in October.

Faafoi told RNZ via a spokesperson "the Government has yet to consider any options."