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Ad-free kids' channel set to make some noise



Good news for parents who want more control over what their kids are exposed to during their device time. The new kids' online channel to be launched by TVNZ in April will be completely ad-free! Called HEIHEI – te reo for commotion or chicken – the channel will carry a wide range of mainly local content for primary-aged children on a safe, ad-free platform.

Children’s and Digital Commissioner at TVNZ Amie Mills, said TVNZ was committed to local children’s programming, and to engaging with the youngest viewers "to create content that inspires them, makes them laugh, and broadens their horizons."

Kids are watching more content on devices rather than traditional on-air channels, which means they're absorbing a lot of international content, and being exposed to more of a commercial environment.

A 2017 study by US-based Commonsense Media, showed that most children under 2 have watched TV (71%), and 34% watch TV every day. On average, children under 2 spend 40 minutes a day watching TV or videos, and for this age group, most viewing still occurs on a TV set. However, the study showed that kids age 8 and under spend an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes a day with screen media, mostly on TV, but increasingly on mobile and other device. Also, more families now subscribe to streaming video services such as Netflix than pay TV.

One of the flagship programmes on HEIHEI will be Fanimals, which centres on kids and their pets.

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