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New Zealand’s youth channel fails to make profit, taken off air

TVNZ has announced plans to close its youth channel TVNZU on August 31 and launch a time-shifted version of one of its main channels, TV2. 

After two years of running at a loss, TVNZ says it has made a commercial decision to take the free to air channel off air in a month’s time. TVNZ’s Chief Executive Kevin Kenrick says, “Despite our best efforts, we’ve not been able to make it work financially.

“As it is, the channel is a very lean operation and no significant savings can be made to address the shortfall.”

“The team who worked on U have done a tremendous job. And we’ve picked up some valuable expertise along the way, particularly in the way we use live TV and social media to connect with audiences.”

TVNZ plans to launch TV2+1 on the vacated frequency on 1 September. The new channel will be an exact duplicate of TV2, broadcast an hour later.

“The plus one version will give TV2 viewers another chance to watch their favourite programmes on the country’s most commercially successful channel,” says Mr Kenrick.

Time-shifted TV is popular with viewers, he says. “Viewers love to call the shots and watch programmes in more ways. With the launch of TV ONE +1 and the explosion of TVNZ On Demand’s popularity in the last year, we’ve seen our viewers seize the opportunity to exercise greater choice and control over their viewing options. Our audiences are growing as a result.”