Media Releases

RNZ Board Welcomes FM Frequency Opportunity

Released at 11:00 am on 17 February 2020

11 February 2020

The Board of RNZ today welcomed the Government’s decision to look at freeing up an additional FM transmission frequency and to explore funding options for a multi-media music brand.

RNZ Chair Dr Jim Mather said the Government’s decision would enable RNZ Concert to stay on the FM network and allow the creation of the multi-media music brand.

“The Board of RNZ takes seriously its Charter obligations to provide a public media service for all New Zealanders and, as part of that, we remain committed to the new multi-media brand and its exciting range of innovative offerings beyond simply music targeting young people.  

“To date we have been restricted to two FM transmission networks to serve the diverse audiences specified in the RNZ Charter.”

“The news that the Government is looking at granting us a third FM network changes the playing field as we seek to do a better job of providing relevant content for younger audiences in particular.”

“This is an excellent opportunity as it will allow RNZ to launch a multi-media music brand for younger people on multiple platforms including FM while continuing to provide a classical music service broadcast on FM and other platforms,” Dr Mather said

“The Board of RNZ continues to be committed to ensuring that the public broadcaster is relevant to as broad a range of New Zealanders – age, income and ethnicity - as possible and this requires us to broaden our appeal beyond our current loyal audiences.

“We are particularly excited by the opportunity to provide a platform for New Zealand artists to share their unique talents in a way that will also complement our existing range of online services. One of the key goals of this new brand is to play local content at higher levels than commercial broadcasters.” 

 “As we expected, recent feedback has shown there is strong support for RNZ Concert continuing on FM. We hear that passion for Concert and look forward to completing the consultation process to consider other possible improvements to that service now we have been given the potential of additional FM capacity”. 

Dr Mather also acknowledged the challenging work undertaken by the RNZ Chief Executive, Paul Thompson, and his management team in leading a comprehensive review of RNZ’s audiences and developing a strategy to broaden them.

“The Board has always and will continue to encourage the Chief Executive and his management team to look for bold strategic approaches to help meet the expectations of our diverse audiences within constrained budgets. 

“We will now work diligently with the Minister of Broadcasting and officials on the proposal for the additional FM network.”