AUCKLAND — Kiwi webs are under fire after a report commissioned by the government revealed an increase in onscreen violence.
Report fingers channels with a lot of U.S. content and found many violent incidents appeared in program promotions and kids’ cartoons.
Pay channels Nickelodeon and Sky Movies on satcaster Sky TV were named the most violent of the eight surveyed channels with an average of 13 and 12 violent incidents per hour, respectively.
CanWest Global Communications-owned TV3 scored 6.8 violent incidents an hour; researchers named its show “CSI” among the most violent on TV.
Government-owned TV One, which has mostly local content and U.K. fare, had just two violent incidents per hour.
Ominously titled “Towards Precautionary Risk Management of TV Violence in New Zealand,” the study was released as part of a wider government review of broadcasting policy. Survey was done in March 2003 before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Kiwi TV has been relatively liberal on violence and sex. “The Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under” and “Nip/Tuck,” which air on cablers Stateside, show uncensored on terrestrial TV in the 9:30 p.m. timeslot.
The government is not obliged to act on calls by the study’s authors for more oversight of the nets, but TV execs are treating seriously the threat of more regulation.
Within minutes of its release, pubcaster TVNZ volunteered to revamp its approach to program promotions to make them less violent.
Sky, on the other hand, said it would not make changes unless subscribers demand them.