by Lindsay Shelton
At first glance, the competing advertising seems to be making identical claims. Posters in Newtown (above) promote the fact that Maori TV will be showing all the games. A billboard in Taranaki Street (below) blasts out the claim that Sky will be showing all the games.
Both campaigns use the word “live.” But there is a difference. Look closer, and you’ll see that Sky is offering live telecasts of all 48 games.
Maori TV is showing all the games, and 16 of its telecasts will be live, including all the All Blacks’ matches. In the words of its posters: “all the big games.”
Why pay a hefty Sky subscription to see live coverage of minor matches, when you can see all the most important matches – as they’re being played – for nothing?
Maori TV’s coverage of the Rugby World Cup is better than any of the other free-to-air broadcasters. In comparison, TVNZ (which used to be the home of important sports events) is showing only 12 games.
It’s not only sport where Maori TV is ahead of the others. It has the best current affairs programme with its weekly Native Affairs. It has political debates and interviews such as no other television broadcaster bothers to organise. It pioneered the all-day Anzac Day tributes. It was the only channel to provide live coverage of the state funeral of Sir Paul Reeves.
Best of all: its schedule features more local programmes in prime time than any other channel. If rugby world cup visitors look at TVNZ or Three or Four or Prime, or indeed Sky, they could be mistaken for thinking that they’re in another country. But not when they’re looking at Maori TV.