Local Content Report 2008

Local Content Report 2008 (pdf)
01 Jan 2009

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The Local Content Report compares the schedules of the four national free-to-air channels in 2012 to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. The report used the Listener programme schedule and then measures the amount of time local content is broadcast. Some highlights from this 2008 report are that 11,600 hours of local content screened, 42.1% of prime time hours were local content, and TV One screened the most local content.


For the six free-to-air channels, data from the Listener programme billings is recorded onto an Access database. Scheduling changes by the television networks after New Zealand Listener publication are generally not included; nor are unlisted programmes such as short filler programmes.

Programmes have, in most cases, been counted according to the amount of New Zealand content within the programme. For example, series such as 20/20 which averages two overseas stories and one New Zealand-produced story per episode, have been recorded as containing one-third of an hour of New Zealand content (two thirds in the case of 60 Minutes). There is a degree of arbitrariness to such allocations, but the emphasis is on consistency so trends can be observed.

Sports programmes are the main example of programmes that fluctuate significantly, and the New Zealand content is not always published in detail in advance. For accuracy Sports programmes would have to be timed as they go to air. As this is not practicable for NZ On Air, all sports content included within New Zealand-produced branded programmes has been counted as a New Zealand programme. For sports matches not featuring a New Zealand team, but which include a New Zealand commentator “topping and tailing” the broadcast, an allowance is made for the presenter links only.

If a programme straddles prime time and off-peak, it is counted as prime time if the majority of the programme screens in prime time. For example, if a programme begins screening at 9.15pm and concludes at 10.15pm, it is counted as one hour of prime time.

In general, programmes are counted as whole hours or half hours irrespective of the differing durations often encountered. For example, a programme may actually have a duration of between 22 minutes and 29 minutes, depending on the length of advertising and promotion breaks, but is counted as a full half-hour for simplicity.

First-run programmes mean programmes that are appearing on a free-to-air national network for the first time. If a programme screened on C4 first, and was then repeated on TV3, the latter screenings are counted as a repeat. Previous screenings on pay television are not counted.

New Zealand content is classified as material which is both predominantly made in New Zealand and which reflects New Zealand identity and culture. Thus programmes which are made in New Zealand but which have no New Zealand flavour are not counted. Neither are programmes about New Zealand but made for foreign television channels.

Programme hours are divided into nine genre categories. The categories are:


Programmes which use New Zealand presenters to provide links between cartoons and other overseas material, or which have a minority of New Zealand content are classified by the amount of New Zealand content only. Programmes which contain some overseas content but have a majority of New Zealand content, such as What Now?, are fully classified as New Zealand programmes.

Children’s Drama

This is scripted drama made for young people.


This category contains all New Zealand-made Drama/Comedy, other than Drama made for children. Comedy is classified as Drama, not Entertainment when it is scripted and acted in accordance with usual drama production techniques (e.g. Outrageous Fortune, The Jaquie Brown Diaries, The Unauthorised History of New Zealand and Go Girls).


This category generally comprises one-off documentaries or series in a non-magazine format.


This category includes game shows, music programmes (from classical to rock), quizzes and competitions such as The Rich List and Dancing with the Stars, broad competitive formats such as Mitre 10 Dream Home and Deal or No Deal plus light entertainment shows.


This category comprises a wide range of programme types, generally with a magazine format and/or an information flavour, as opposed to an entertainment or a competitive purpose. Examples include series such as Kai Time on the Road; spiritual series such as My God; leisure and lifestyle series such as Gone Fishin’; and special interest series such as Attitude and Tagata Pasifika.

Māori Programmes

Programmes made for a general audience, such as Marae, Waka Huia and Te Karere, are counted in this category.

News/Current Affairs

This comprises all New Zealand-produced News/Current Affairs programmes. One-off advertised events are included, but special bulletins which have not been advertised may be excluded. For programmes which are a mixture of New Zealand and overseas material, such as 20/20, only the New Zealand portion is counted.


This category includes all programmes packaged and produced in New Zealand. This is the only category which can contain a high level of overseas content and still be classified as a New Zealand programme. See paragraph 3 above.

Within each category, and by channel, programmes can be further analysed, depending on whether they are:

  • prime time (first-run programming screening between 6pm - 10pm)
  • off peak (first-run programming screening any time outside prime time)
  • repeat (repeated programming screening both in prime time and off-peak)

This report also provides information on local content totals under the four main genre groupings that are the focus of the Television Local Content Group, which are:

  • Drama/Comedy (including Children’s Drama)
  • Children’s
  • Documentary, Information, Entertainment, Māori
  • News/Current Affairs and Sports

Hours are measured and reported on an 18 hour clock (as introduced in the 2003 report).

Key Results

Free-to-air television key trends

  • Total local content hours increased by 816 to 11,600 hours, a 7% increase on the previous year when 10,784 hours were broadcast. This is the highest level recorded to date and is largely due to increased News hours on TV One and TV3.
  • The percentage of local content on the six main free-to-air channels rose to 34% of the schedule (32% in 2007).
  • TV One screened the most local content, 3,954 hours. This is more than TV2, TV3 and Prime combined. MTS screened the second highest number of hours with 2,608 hours.
  • Although Prime’s local content increased, the channel screened the least: 817 hours.
  • TV2 was the only channel to show a slight decrease in the total of local content hours, from 1,168 hours in 2007 to 1,110 hours in 2008.
  • MTS screened the most local content in prime time with 902 hours, representing almost 30% of prime time schedule.
  • C4’s 1,136 hours of local content mainly consist of music videos.
  • First-run hours, representing new series or new programmes, increased by 8.1% to 8,936 hours (8,225 hours in 2007) due to increases on four channels: TV One, TV3, C4 and MTS.
Page last modified: 04 Jul 2018