Thursday, 8 October 2009


We have watched with great interest the comments on Roarprawn after we let loose our support for the Maori TV bid. We scratched the underbelly and as predicted the fleas did jump.

So it is with much pride and satisfaction that we learned today , when we opened our copy of the venerable Transtasman, the organ of sense and sensibility - that they see it our way.

Jeez, those cheeky Maoris, eh?Chuck them their own TV channel and next thing you know they’re bidding for the free-to-air rights for the Rugby World Cup.With taxpayer funds! The sheerbloody cheek!! Except... well, let’s just calm down a bit here. Firstly,Maori TV is carrying quite a bit of content which is not specifically Maori-focused but which is nonetheless quite high value. There is the complaint Maori TV doesn’t reach everywhere but the International Rugby Board says it will reach 90% of the population and it is fine with that. It is pretty close to the main channels. The big advantage Maori TV seems to have is it doesn’t have the same prime time commitments TVNZand TV3 have. Those are usually the big channels’ commercial

strengths, but this time they have counted against them. This is hardly unfair.

Yip thats pretty much our view.

And they conclude,

A few more general points: firstly, we always have a row overbroadcast rights for the free to air games when a Rugby World Cup looms. The reason is simple nostalgia: many of us still regret the demise of true free-to-air rugby games. They are in the same class as free parking in cities, the original Heards Barley Sugars, and good old fashioned rucking. They’re all part of a world which has now gone. And we resent being reminded of this. The other thing is the Brash-at-Orewa factor: the niggling feeling Maori are getting an unfair advantage. This doesn’t seem to be the case

here though. Maori TV isn’t getting any more of a hand-up

from the taxpayer than TVNZ. And, come on now. How many

dedicated rugby fans in NZ don’t already have Sky Sport?

Oh and if you want to read Transtasman first and in depth - you have to, like dedicated rugby fans, subscribe.

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