Report – Pacific Media Watch 
A proven public service broadcaster – with a strong Pacific community component – is back on TV screens nationwide with the launch of Face Television on Sky Television.
Face, which is a rebrand of Auckland’s Triangle Television, is available on Sky Channel 089 from today.
Face will also continue to be available on Auckland’s analogue UHF channels 41, 42 and 52 until digital switch over (DSO) for TV in the region later this year.
Jim Blackman, chief executive of Face, says the broadcaster was just four days away from being shut down before Sky secured its digital future with the offer of a channel on the Sky platform.
“I am thrilled John Fellet and his team at SKY have recognised the value in what our small team has achieved during the past 14 years by offering us a channel on the Sky platform,” Blackman says.
“Triangle and its programme providers were facing a bleak future with no solution to the channel’s spectrum crisis coming from government or other sources. This is despite all the assurances around DSO that the needs of regional, non-commercial operators would be adequately met. The solution Sky has provided, at no cost to us, means that we will be able to offer other regional broadcasters access to a digital broadcast platform.
“There is a thirst for public broadcasting in New Zealand. People want to see faces from their local communities on their TV screens and those faces are multicultural and represent the many ethnicities that make up New Zealand’s society today.”
Face aims to deliver an hour of New Zealand current affairs and topical discussion in prime time from 7pm, Monday to Thursday, and also plans strong Pacific content.
John Fellet, Sky’s chief executive, said he welcomed Face to the Sky platform: “When I heard of Triangle’s situation with the forthcoming DSO I considered the impact for New Zealand and Sky viewers. I’m confident Face will attract a healthy niche audience as well as providing an important public service broadcasting outlet. It’s a fitting addition to Sky’s content line up that I welcome with open arms.”
Face Television will also continue to screen the largest breadth of international news and current affairs, documentaries and lifestyle shows of any New Zealand channel and for which the former Triangle developed a substantial following.
Face is now available for viewing by all domestic Sky subscribers on channel 089.
Source: PMW 8188