State-owned New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ has recorded a profit of NZ$14.2m (US$11.4m), and acquired NBC’s Betty White-fronted version of Benidorm Bastards.
TVNZ’s after tax profit for the year ended June 30, 2012 was up from NZ$2.1m the previous year when it was hit by costs associated with deploying TiVo set-top boxes.
Overall revenue in the past 12 months rose 1% to NZ$381.8m, with ad revenue up NZ$9m to NZ$313.7m.
However, minus a lower-than-expected NZ$11.3 dividend paid to the government, plus other expenses, underlying earnings dipped 12.2% to NZ$27.9m.
The latter figure was attributed in particular to higher overseas programming acquisitions.
TVNZ’s recent buys include Fox’s latest Gordon Ramsay vehicle, Hotel Hell; All3Media-distributed UK drama Accused; Sky1’s comedy Spy; season two of Channel 4 docu-series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding; and Midnight Sun Productions’ factual series 100 Days, among others.
But this hasn’t stopped the broadcaster today dipping into its pockets to buy NBC prank series Off Their Rockers for TV2 from Red Arrow International. The show is based on the Rose d’Or-winning Belgian format Benidorm Bastards.
Though TVNZ is government-owned, most of its finances are raised commercially. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key closed its only commercial-free channel, TVNZ7, in June, a move that lead to street protests over what was perceived as a death-knell for local public broadcasting.
TVNZ’s CEO Kevin Kenrick, who stepped into the top job in April following the prior departure of Rick Ellis, said the 2012 numbers made for “satisfactory” reading that reinforced “the company’s position as New Zealand’s leading free-to-air broadcaster.”
“Both the network’s FTA channels exceeded their commercial targets this year, driven largely by strong local content on TV1 and the continuing success of TV2, which has now held the lead in its targeted demographic of 18-to-39 year-olds for an unbroken run of 44 consecutive months,” he added.
The news comes four months after TVNZ entered into a joint venture with paycaster Sky for new pay-TV platform Igloo.