Where Next for WBD and NZOA?


NZ On Air is in talks with Warner Bros. NZ about funding for content beyond the $30 million already committed to projects for Three and ThreeNow.

This follows yesterday’s shock revelation that WBD was going to mothball its news service and cut back on local content that wasn’t publicly or co-funded with other partners.

“With the news having only just been announced and with four months until the proposed closure of NewsHub, this calls for careful consideration of the potential impacts on local programming and audience engagement,” NZOA said in a statement.

Here’s the release:

NZ On Air statement on Warner Bros Discovery news 

NZ On Air has begun conversations with Warner Bros Discovery about currently funded and pending future content for Three and ThreeNow.

Yesterday’s news of the proposed closure of NewsHub and loss of a talented news team is very sad news for New Zealand audiences.

NZ On Air currently has $30m in funding committed for content yet to screen on Three and ThreeNow.

The majority of these contracts are with independent production companies. These funds are progressively drawn down against milestones.

With the news having only just been announced and with four months until the proposed closure of NewsHub, this calls for careful consideration of the potential impacts on local programming and audience engagement.

We’re committed to closely collaborating with Warner Bros Discovery to assess how this will affect NZ On Air funded content and are actively engaged in understanding the implications.

Three has traditionally been a significant platform for local content, providing commissioning and financial support and strong audiences, and they have stated a desire for this to continue.

Our funding is contestable, and discussions about future funding of content can only be theoretical.

We appreciate this does not immediately answer the question many people have as to whether their favourite shows will continue.

However we think it’s worth taking the time to make the right decisions for audiences, and for the sector, and with all due prudence around committing taxpayer funds.

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