New Zealand TV Deal Opens Door to China……Bye Bye Culture

Posted: November 19, 2014 in Society and Culture

SOURCE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11360719

TV deal opens door to China
Audrey Young
Chinese media reports seen by millions a ‘huge opportunity’ for local businesses
President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan will arrive today after attending the G20  summit. Photo / Getty Images
President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan will arrive today after attending the G20 summit. Photo / Getty Images

A China-New Zealand television co-production agreement is set to help Kiwi producers access the Chinese market as the country eyes greater controls on foreign television content.

The deal being signed tomorrow by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry and China’s Culture Minister, Cai Wu, is the culmination of talks that began four years ago.

The bilateral agreement will enable television producers from each country to work on joint productions and access government incentives available in each country as if they were domestic productions.

New Zealand’s Screen Production Grant already gives international productions shot here grants of up to 20 per cent of expenditure. However recognition as an official New Zealand China co-production is likely to enable access to the 40 per cent grant available to domestic productions.

It is also likely to allow access to NZ On Air funding.

As with other standard co-production agreements, the China deal is also likely to included provisions easing the passage of equipment and crews between the countries.

However, a potentially big plus for New Zealand producers is that as official co-productions are likely to be recognised as domestic content, they should be able to sidestep China’s restrictions or quotas on foreign content on prime time and even internet TV.

The Herald understands China has in some instances had bans on foreign content on prime time television and it is also reportedly poised to introduce limits on foreign TV shows available on online video sites. The limits are understood to be similar to those on foreign films.

Earlier this year New Zealand struck a deal with China on recognition of film co-productions which means they are exempt from the quota.

However it is understood no joint film productions have yet been announced under that deal.

Television co-productions are understood to be a more likely prospect.

China TV

China-New Zealand television co-production agreement – what’s likely.

• Any officially recognised co-productions will be treated as domestic productions in each country.

• That will give productions access to the full financial incentives available in each country.

• NZ China co-productions are also likely to be exempt from China’s controls on foreign television content.

• Easier access when talent, crews and equipment travel between the two countries.

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