The Maori Party have issued a statement addressing the public debate surrounding Maori Television’s bid for the free to air rights for the Rugby World Cup 2011.
The MP for Waiariki – Te Ururoa Flavell – says misinformation, mischief making and an appeal to racial prejudice are fuelling the debate around the Maori Television bid for ‘free-to-air’ television coverage of the rugby world cup in Aotearoa.
“Here are the facts around the situation:
1 Sky TV, TV One and TV3 put in a joint bid for the tv coverage and their bid was rejected
2 They then put in separate bids but co-operated on price, and those too were rejected
3 Sky TV bid for and won the pay tv rights
4 The three networks above did NOT include MTS in any of their approaches
5 While there were NO bids on the table for free to air coverage MTS put together a solo bid
6 If the Maori Television Service bid is successful it will trigger a contract whereby MTS will deliver certain outcomes to Te Puni Kokiri over the next three years
7 The contract is NOT a grant or a subsidy but a purchase agreement – on the other hand TVNZ has enjoyed tens of millions of dollars of grants and subsidies from the taxpayer in its life time, TV3 is a straight out commercial broadcaster whose role is to maximise its profits for its shareholders, it has NO allegiance to the public of New Zealand, MTS is a public channel controlled by a satute of Parliament
8 There is NO single channel in the country which has 100% ‘free-to-air’ coverage – but if MTS is successful it has two years to improve its already 90% coverage and there are many ways to do that
9 Unlike the other networks MTS has offered to share coverage through sub-licensing arrangements
“Those are the facts. The reality is that the so-called ‘big boys’ ignored MTS and tried to have the International Rugby Board on and the IRB called their bluff. MTS on the other hand cleverly put together a deal and a stand alone bid which has considerable mileage in it for Maori, in fact for all New Zealanders.”
“Since they discovered how credible the MTS bid is and that they have been blind-sided by the channel they ignored, TVNZ and TV3 are trying hard to discredit the bid and have been working on politicians who are more than willing to put the boot into anything Maori.”
“I’m hoping fair-minded kiwis having seen the facts laid out will see that there is a fair degree of ‘sour grapes’ here and people crying foul after being caught short. I’m also hoping they’ll remember the good work MTS has done with meagre resources to bring ANZAC day and the Breakers and other programmes to the nation. Kia ora.”