INDEPENDENT NEWS

Government Scares Telstra Saturn Away From TVNZ

Published: Wed 1 Aug 2001 10:02 AM
Telstra Saturn's withdrawal from a deal with TVNZ to launch a digital television service puts a spotlight on the Government's flawed broadcasting policies, ACT MP Penny Webster said today.
"No company wants to be shackled with the baggage that Labour has forced on TVNZ.
"Changing TVNZ from a State Owned Enterprise to a Crown Owned Company would have been enough to scare anyone.
"On top of that, Telstra Saturn was faced with TVNZ's plunging profits - in part because of the state broadcaster's projected decline in market share due to forced compliance with an obstructive Charter.
"Australia tried providing free-to-air stations on digital channels, and found that almost nobody purchased set-top boxes.
"The Government should accept responsibility for TVNZ's failed deal, and for the massive losses the broadcaster faces because of the Charter and politicians' dangerous rhetoric about 'public' broadcasting.
Ends

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