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 uses Nielsen Media ratings data to gather a list of all programmes, cross-checks with Listener and TV Guide programme schedules, and then measures the amount of time local content is broadcast. Some highlights from this 2012 report are that 12,051 hours of local content screened, 35% of prime time hours were local content, and Māori Television screened the most local content.
This report measures the amount of local content broadcast on the six main, national channels (TV One, TV2, TV3, Prime, FOUR and Māori Television). Data from Nielsen Media ratings software, Arianna, is used to list all New Zealand made programming. The Nielsen data is compared with the Listener and TV Guide programme schedules and any variance is investigated and corrected, in some cases in consultation with broadcasters. This allows for all scheduling changes and unlisted short filler programmes to be included in the survey.
Programmes have, in most cases, been counted according to the amount of New Zealand content within the programme. For example, the series 20/20 is recorded as containing one third of an hour of New Zealand content as on average it has two overseas stories and one New Zealand-produced story per episode. There is a degree of arbitrariness to these allocations, but the emphasis is on consistency so trends can be observed.
If a programme straddles primetime (6pm to 10pm) and off-peak it is counted as primetime if the majority of the programme screens in primetime. For example, if a programme begins screening at 9.15pm and concludes at 10.15pm, it is counted as one hour of primetime. If the programme is divided equally between primetime and off-peak it has been counted as primetime.
Programmes are counted from the minute the programme starts to the minute the programme ends. This includes the length of advertising and promotion breaks. This can affect the duration of repeated programming, for example a 30 minute programme during primetime might be 25 minutes in length when repeated in an off-peak slot.
First run programmes mean programmes that appear on the free-to-air national network for the first time. If a programme screened on Māori Television first, and was then repeated on TV3, the latter screenings are counted as a repeat. Previous screenings on pay television, regional television, or other channels the report does not measure are not counted as the first run.
Local content is classified as material that is made in New Zealand by New Zealanders and which reflects New Zealand identity and culture. Thus programmes that are made in New Zealand with no New Zealand flavour are not counted.
Unless specifically noted, hours are measured and reported on the 18-hour broadcast day (6am to midnight) as introduced in the 2003 report.
Programme hours are divided into nine genre categories defined below. Nielsen designates the genre from a list of more than 40 typologies, which are automatically assigned to the nine genre measured in this report. Because of the external categorisation there are some variances in programme classification and two similar programmes may appear in different genre. A full list of each programme and the genre it is assigned to is in Appendix 5.
Definitions of Genre classifications
Programmes for young people, including cartoons, variety programmes, magazine style programmes and information for children. Often in this genre New Zealand presenters are used to provide links between cartoons and other overseas material. Every effort is made to ensure only the New Zealand content is counted in this report. Programmes dubbed or subtitled into te Reo Māori but that are otherwise foreign content are not counted as local content.
Scripted drama made for young people.
New Zealand-made Drama/Comedy, other than Drama made for children. Generally only scripted comedy is counted in this genre by broadcasters. Variety shows such as stand up comedy are in some cases counted as Entertainment.
One-off documentaries and series in a non-magazine format.
Game shows, music programmes, music videos, quizzes, competitions, and light entertainment shows.
A wide range of programme types, generally with a magazine format and/or an information flavour, as opposed to an entertainment or competitive purpose.
Programmes that have a Māori perspective that do not screen on Māori Television such as Marae, Waka Huia and Te Karere.
This comprises all New Zealand-produced News/Current Affairs programmes. For programmes that are a mixture of New Zealand and overseas material, such as 60 Minutes, only the New Zealand portion is counted.
This category includes all programmes packaged and produced in New Zealand. Where New Zealand teams are playing in overseas events it is classified as local content if it is shot by a local crew, or if New Zealand athletes are playing a major part.
2012 Key Trends
The 2012 Local Content Report sees content levels remaining largely static. While there was an increase in total content, a trend for decreased first run content continued. This reflects the difficult economic environment.
−First run local content, meaning new series or programmes, decreased from 2011 levels by 5.6% to 7,667 hours or 20% of the broadcast schedule (8,124 hours or 23% of the schedule in 2011).
Repeat screenings comprised 4,384 hours (3,094 in 2011), accounting for 36% of local content (28% in 2011). Māori Television extended its broadcast day to begin at 10.00am midyear. The additional five hours a day were primarily repeats of Māori language learning programmes which contributed to the increase.
−Overall local content comprised 35% of primetime schedules (37% in 2011).
Māori Television screened the most primetime local content in 2012 with 1,185 hours. 81% of primetime programming was local (89% in 2011). TV One and TV3 screened the next highest number of hours in primetime with 748 hours (51%) and 699 hours (48%) respectively.
− Information hours were up by 747 hours to 2,799 (2,053 hours in 2011) mainly due to the increase in Māori Television’s broadcast day.
Sports hours rose by 160 hours due to additional hours broadcast of the London Olympic Games in July and August (which boosted Prime TV’s output in particular).
Documentary hours also increased by 125 hours. Māori Television broadcast the most documentary content.
Drama/Comedy and Māori Programmes also had small increases in 2012.
Local hours of Children’s programmes, News/Current Affairs and Entertainment decreased from 2011.