TVNZ viewers criticise decision to broadcast Popstars on TVNZ 1 and 2, replacing Fair Go

Loyal Fair Go viewers have taken to social media to criticise TVNZ’s decision to play Popstars on Monday night.

The first episode of the reality talent show debuted this week, and TVNZ elected to play the show on both TVNZ 1 and TVNZ 2 in a move to encourage more viewers to tune in.

A spokesperson for TVNZ told the Herald that 774,500 tuned in across the two channels. That’s compared to Fair Go viewers from the Monday in the previous week, reaching 647,600 people on TVNZ 1.

544,400 tuned in to Popstars on TVNZ 1 and the show reached 288,300 on TVNZ 2.

Popstars is fronted by a panel of top Kiwi music talent – Grammy award winner Kimbra, Vince Harder, and Nathan King who are searching for our next undiscovered music act. The show first aired in 1999 and catapulted the group TrueBliss to fame.

TVNZ has been contacted for comment for last night’s ratings.

Viewers posting to TVNZ 1’s Facebook page expressing their frustration about the decision to broadcast the show instead of Fair Go.

“Why oh why did you have the show on both channels, not everyone wants a rehash of 1999. sure-fire way to send viewers to competition,” one person wrote.

Another called the decision “out of touch”.

They wrote: “You think that yet another talent show is so important that the nation must see it?”

Others called the decision “absolutely ridiculous” and “stupid” and a “waste of time”.

“By running Popstars at the same time on TV 1 & 2, you are limiting viewers’ choice. Too late now, but I would prefer the option of watching Fair Go,” a viewer argued.

“Not impressed at all. If we wanted to watch it, we could have done that on TV2,” a separate viewer said.

“What’s up with Popstars on both 1 and 2 tonight? If Fair Go can’t be screened tonight that’s fine but give us another option other than Popstars. If you want people to watch broadcast TV you need to put on quality shows and choice,” another person wrote.

In a statement to Stuff, TVNZ’s GM of corporate communications Rachel Howard said the decision was made to broadcast the reality show on both channels because it would resonate with both TVNZ 1 and TVNZ 2’s audiences.

“We like to trial different ways of airing programmes to see what works for viewers.

“New Zealanders got behind TrueBliss in 1999, and we think they’ll rally behind a new generation of talented musicians.”

Fair Go will return to its usual time slot on Monday next week, and Popstars screens three nights a week on TVNZ 2.

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