TVNZ 7, TV New Zealands ’s second digital-only public service television channel, started broadcasting at midday today on Freeview. The channel launched with The Kingmaker Debate, a live political debate in Parliament between the minor party leaders.
TVNZ 7 is New Zealand’s first local factual channel, featuring 30 percent news content, as well as documentaries, current affairs programmes, and commentary shows. The new channel represents a major milestone in the evolution of TVNZ as New Zealand’s public service broadcaster.
TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis says that TVNZ 7 allows TVNZ to fulfil its public service broadcasting remit in ways that are not possible on TV ONE and TV2 alone. “These channels are advertising-free, so we can show more diverse local public service type programmes in prime time. In an increasingly globalised world, local content has never been so important to help promote and foster New Zealand’s national identity,” says Ellis.
70 percent of TVNZ 7’s programmes are locally produced, with 40 percent specifically made for the channel. “TVNZ 7’s programmes express the diversity of voices that make up our nation. We believe that by helping all New Zealanders understand the breadth and richness of our country, we strengthen our shared identity as New Zealanders,” says Ellis.
TVNZ has commissioned programmes for TVNZ 7, including Back Benches, a political commentary show hosted by Wallace Chapman, and Media7, a media review and commentary show hosted by Russell Brown. The news on TVNZ 7 comprises TVNZ News Now, 10-minute bulletins on the hour every hour, TVNZ News at 8, an hour-long news bulletin at 8pm every night.
The channel will also feature special events like The Kingmaker Debate.