TVNZ has told its advertisers that it is once again able to offer regionally targeted commercials, after signing a carriage agreement with Sky TV that will see the satellite broadcaster transmit TV One and TV2 in high-definition, as well as the TVNZ 6 and 7 channels from June 1 and July 1 respectively.
According to TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards, the regions are configured "in line with existing digital terrestrial transmission signal regions". They are similar for both Sky and Freeview regions, with the service set-top boxes being programmed to recognise subscribers in each of the areas.
While TVNZ promises in a message from Dave Walker, head of advertising sales at the state broadcaster, that it will have "100% coverage into the regions," TV2 won't be part of this. Instead, TV2 will only screen national advertisements.
Richards says the reason for TV2 not having regional advertising is that it's expensive due to the bandwidth required. Bandwidth capacity was also a factor in the decision, Richards says, aadding that TVNZ had to prioritise TV One as it represents the biggest opportunity for its regional advertisers.
The regional breakouts for TV One will extend to the Sky and Freeview satellite platforms, Walker writes, but there will no longer be separate divisions for the Palmerston North and Wellington regions. These breakouts will be combined into a new region called Central.
For the digital service, there will no longer be a single, national-only region for advertisers.
Current ad bookings will not be affected, as the regions come into effect on June 28 this year. However, bookings for the new regional breakouts start on April 7, with a new July-September 2009 rate card being released.
TVNZ has split New Zealand into four parts for the advertising coverage. The Auckland region includes the north of the country, and attracts half the cost of the national rate for advertising. Middle and the lower North Island are covered by the Waikato and Central regions, respectively. The latter also covers the Nelson area, less Blenheim. Waikato and Central regions will be charged at one-fifth the national rate.
The South Island region covers the rest of mainland New Zealand, and costs 30% of the national rate for advertisers.