The Dim-Post

February 16, 2013

Now I, too, have watched Seven Sharp and have an informed opinion on it

Filed under: tv — danylmc @ 8:02 am

I saw last night’s episode, and it wasn’t too bad. Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t like it and I’ll never watch it again but in terms of news value it didn’t seem worse than your average episode of Close-Up. The first story was about youth binge drinking – as was every other episode of Close-Up – with the usual stock-footage of kids stumbling around plastered, slurring amusing things to the camera. The context was that the government’s alcohol reforms weren’t going to fix this, but they didn’t explain what the reforms were, or weren’t.

The interview was with a PR shill from the alcohol industry. The presenters didn’t seem to know anything about the subject so the shill was unchallenged. Greg Boyd’s done well-prepped interviews on Q & A, so I blame the producer and the researcher.

As many others have pointed out, the tone is a bit weird; the opening segment contained a joke about Oscar Pistorius, and normally I’d find a gag about an athlete murdering his girlfriend hilarious, but this one didn’t quite work for me. And they haven’t solved the technical challenges of a three person hosted live-show; that’s still a bit of a mess. But these things take time. Remember Paddy Gower’s first few months of TV journalism? It was pretty bad, and now he’s the Mother of the Nation.

Much has been made of the fact that they lost 200,000 viewers in a week. If they’re losing those viewers from TV1′s older demographic I doubt they care.  Those people don’t buy the products that Seven Sharp’s advertisers sell. If they lose 200,000 viewers over fifty and gain 50,000 viewers under 30 then that’s a ratings win for TVNZ.

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10 Comments »

  1. The problem is that the shills they get on are unlikely to ever be challenged, thats not the point of the show.

    Comment by awbraae — February 16, 2013 @ 8:42 am

  2. “Those people don’t buy the products that Seven Sharp’s advertisers sell.”

    Citation needed – seriously interested to read any sources that justify TV’s ignoring of the over-50s as a market.

    Comment by Sacha — February 16, 2013 @ 9:57 am

  3. Sasha, just ask any media buyer what demographics they are buying for their products.
    Unless it’s specialised product for the 50+ and even if it is, there are far more better (i.e. cheaper and more effective) programs.

    Comment by eszett — February 16, 2013 @ 11:09 am

  4. I’ve tried to watch it – in the name of research – but my better half won’t let me. So last night we watched Campbell Live say our local fruit and vege shop in Massey North was in Coatesville. Who cares about accuracy when you’re playing the outrage card.

    Re money – I have a lot more disposable income now I’m nearing 50 than I had when I was 18-29. Added bonus for the advertisers: I also support my teenager’s spending habits, so they get me at both ends of the age spectrum.

    Comment by MeToo — February 16, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

  5. >Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t like it and I’ll never watch it again but in terms of news value it didn’t seem worse than your average episode of Close-Up.

    Gold. The chances of me liking such a show, given that I never have before, are so small as to make even one viewing unlikely.

    I’m settling for an opinion formed by everyone else, frankly. I consider it like a poll of polls, actually more accurate than me running my own poll. Essentially, I can’t stand how slow information arrives via the TV. I find I get just as much information in an hour of TV news as I would in 5 minutes on the net.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 16, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

  6. Like Sacha and MeToo, I’ld be keen to see anything supporting the notion that da youf have the cash to burn to payback advertisers for keeping TVNZ in vino…
    And what evidence is there that under 40s are actually watching TV at that time? A lot of my mates are still out, either working late or getting dinner out, or at the beach, etc. They are far more likely to watch the late night news.

    TVNZ is the only SOE I would support being sold off, and I’m to the left of Karl Marx. They serve no purpose I can see.

    Comment by bob — February 16, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

  7. bob: “TVNZ is the only SOE I would support being sold off, and I’m to the left of Karl Marx. They serve no purpose I can see.”

    Then again, if the Packers or the Murdochs wouldn’t see any money in it, what then? Why not go a step further, scuttle it (ie, voluntary administration/liquidation) and start afresh?

    In its current form, TVNZ has devolved far too much to be salvaged now. Kidzone and Heartland are behind a SKY TV paywall. Ian Fraser was the right man for the job not too long ago, but he was handed an impossible task. The transmission arm has already been spun off into Kordia, so all that’s left is studio space.

    Comment by deepred — February 16, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

  8. “1.The problem is that the shills they get on are unlikely to ever be challenged, thats not the point of the show.”

    Are they too lazy to at least get one shill from each side?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 19, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

  9. Probably can’t afford it, CF. Paying for two shills costs at least two shillings.
    If they are losing viewers then advertisers wont want to pay for the spots.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 19, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

  10. Eh? Most shills do it for the publicity/cause.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — February 19, 2013 @ 8:08 pm


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