Four (New Zealand)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2012)|
|Launched||6 February 2011|
|Owned by||MediaWorks New Zealand|
|Picture format||PAL (576i) 16:9|
|Slogan||"NZ's Most (Facebook) Liked TV channel" & "feels like Four"|
|Sister channel(s)||TV3, C4|
|DVB 64-QAM on band IV|
|DVB QPSK on 12456 MHz|
Four is the second television channel offering belonging to the first privately owned national free-to-air television broadcaster currently available within in New Zealand, owned by MediaWorks New Zealand and broadcast via the state-owned Kordia transmission network. The channel launched 6 February 2011 at 6pm. The channel broadcasts on channel frequencies previously used by C4 with some shows previously screened on TV3 and C4 now screening on Four. C4 continues to broadcast, replacing C42.
The channel's target audience is 18-49 year olds and can be broader in its appeal, with programming which attracts a wider, and more mature audience. During early mornings and late afternoons the channel will screen a range of children's programming such as Sesame Street and in the evenings will screen shows aimed at the mainstream audience. Overnight and late mornings - early afternoons the channel will screen Infomercials and Auto TV (Car Commercials). Four broadcasts mostly American programming, with the exemption of Sticky TV and Four Live which are in-house produced Auckland hosted youth shows and the Pukana youth show which is produced from a Maori language government fund. Pukana also airs on one of the two government funded Maori language channels.
The history of Four dates back to 1997 when TV3 decided to launch a second channel as TV4. TV4 was an entertainment network and screened a wide range of imported shows such as South Park, Beverly Hills 90210, Beavis and Butthead. After the millennium new programming was scarce, with the infiltration of 1980's and 1990s repeats. In 2003 TV4 was relaunched as a music channel C4, the channel now screened mostly music related shows and played around 30% of New Zealand music. In 2008 C4 changed from broadcasting music to becoming a youth orientated entertainment network. Music shows still remained on the digital transmission of the channel during the daytime and overnight but during prime time viewing the channel now screened TV shows. The Analogue C4 signal screened informercials during off-peak times. Entertainment programmes included Animation Station on Thursday nights which was a marathon of animated shows such as Family Guy, American Dad, King of the Hill and South Park.
In 2010 a second C4 channel was launched as C42, the new C4 channel was much like C4 before the channel started moving away from playing music. C42 was only available on the Freeview platform.
In October 2010 MediaWorks announced C4 would be replaced with a new network called Four, the new network would now focus on children's programming during the day and in the evenings will screen a range of shows aimed at the 18-49 year old audience. The change took place at 18:00 on 6 February 2011, and at the same time C4 replaced C42. The first programme to air on Four was The Simpsons episode "Elementary School Musical" (not coincidentally featuring New Zealand's own Flight of the Conchords). C4 has returned to its roots playing mostly music shows. The change has seen C4 available to Freeview viewers only, Four is available to analogue terrestrial viewers (until 2012-13), Freeview, Sky and TelstraClear InHome TV.
At the end of 2012, Four began screening some new episodes of shows within seven days of the show being broadcasting in the United States under the Fast Four brand. Examples of shows include The Simpsons, Family Guy, Glee and How I Met Your Mother. New Zealand TV networks typically start screening most US television series around five months after the original release, usually first screening in late January or February at the end of the New Zealand summer, catching up to the US at the end of the season as all 22 episodes are broadcast week-after-week, not spread out over nine months as in the US. The transition of shows like Glee from TV3 to Four also lost the NZ on Air funding that is given to TV3 to get EIA-608 captions converted from source masters to the preferred Teletext format by TVNZ's Access Services. As New Zealand broadcasters are completely reliant on this process for program subtitling.
Television output deals
- 20th Century Fox Television
- CBS Television Distribution (until the end of 2012 for new content)
- NBC Universal (only for existing primetime shows)
- Sony Pictures Television (from late 2013)
Note: SD material for Four only shows with archived subtitles for some re-runs.