TVNZ has announced today it plans to close youth channel TVNZ U on August 31 and launch a time-shifted version of 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.”
A consultation process is underway with affected staff.
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 Kevin 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 Ondemand’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.”
The changes mean some TVNZ channels will be given new EPG positions from 1 September. TVNZ will release details of the new numbering towards the end of August.
HERE IS A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF MY FAVOURITE U LIVE MOMENTS: