How accessible in New Zealand are the Programmes that won the Emmy’s?

The Emmy Awards, the television equivalent of the Oscars, were announced on Sunday evening (Monday New Zealand time).

We’ve taken a look through the winners to find out just how accessible they are to New Zealand audiences. Are they broadcast here in New Zealand and if so, do they have captioning to enable Deaf & Hard of Hearing New Zealanders to watch them?

We’ll be upfront. Most are available in New Zealand. Only a select few have captioning.

If we were to get all scientific on this, and apply a weighting to programmes winning the most award categories, the impact of the lack of captioned access would be very pronounced indeed.

In America, legislation requires television to be captioned – 100 percent. Straight lift internet clips are also subject to captioning legislation.

In New Zealand we have no such legislation. Without a requirement to caption our captioning levels on TV are woefully low compared to most western countries.

With the exception of Orange is the New Black, no programme is available on a demand service with captioning.

In 2007 Television New Zealand launched the first catch up TV service in Australasia. In 2015, no TV On Demand service in New Zealand offers captioning (including TVNZ On Demand, Sky Go, 3Now, Lightbox by Spark, NEON by Sky). As some shows are rushed to on demand services bypassing traditional TV, the accessibility gap is widening.


SKY TELEVISION (21 Emmys across 8 programmes, 0 are captioned)

Soho Channel (All without captions)

“Game of Thrones”
• Outstanding Drama Series
• Supporting Actor, Drama – Peter Dinklage
• Directing for a Drama Series – David Nutter
• Writing for a Drama Series – David Benioff

• Outstanding Comedy Series
• Lead Actress Comedy – Julia Louis-Dreyfus
• Supporting Actor, Comedy – Tony Hale
• Writing for a Comedy Series – Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche

“The Americans”
• Guest Actress, Drama – Margo Martindale

“Olive Ketteridge”
• Limited Series
• Lead Actress, Limited Series or Movie – Frances McDormand
• Lead Actor, Limited Series or Movie – Richard Jenkins
• Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie – Bill Murray
• Writing for a Limited Series, movie or dramatic special – Jane Anderson
• Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special – Lisa Cholodenko

“Mad Men” (also shown on Prime TV without captions)
• Lead Actor – Jon Hamm

Comedy Central (All without captions)

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”
• Variety Talk Series
• Writing for a variety Series
• Directing for a Variety Series – Chuck O’Neil

“Inside Amy Schumer”
• Variety Sketch Series

Discovery Channel (without captions)
“Deadliest Catch”
• Unstructured Reality Program

TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND (4 Emmys across 4 programmes, 3 have captioning)

TV1 (without captions)

“American Crime”
• Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie – Regina King

TV2 (captioned)

“How to Get Away with Murder”
• Lead Actress – Viola Davis

• Guest Actress, Comedy – Joan Cusack

• Supporting Actress, Comedy – Allison Janney

LIGHTBOX (Without captions) (3 Emmys for 1 Programme, no captioning)

• Lead Actor, Comedy – Jeffrey Tambor
• Guest Actor, Comedy – Bradley Whitford
• Directing for a Comedy Series – Jill Soloway

NETFLIX (captioned) (1 Emmy for 1 Programme, captioned)

Orange is the New Black
• Supporting Actress, Drama – Uzo Abuda

The Rest (5 Emmys across 5 programmes, 2 alternatives have captioning, 3 unknown)

References to the exact programme awarded the Emmy could not be located for the following programmes when we conducted this research.

“The Voice” (USA)
• Reality-Competition Series

TVNZ list this programme in the 2015 lineup announcement but we have been unable to locate a screening date. The Australian version of The Voice is shown on TVNZ and airs with captioning.

“Shark Tank”
• Structured Reality Program

The Australian version of this programme airs on TV3 with captioning.

• Television Movie

“Hollywood Game Night”
• Host, Reality or Reality-Competition Program – Jane Lynch

“House of Cards”
• Guest Actor Drama – Reg E. Cathey

TV3 aired an earlier series however a New Zealand Herald article stated that TV3 do not have the license for the current series, nor do Lightbox, Sky or TVNZ. The series is a flagship programe for Netflix but it is not available on the NZ version of Netflix.

As the House of Cards team were sitting at the Emmy awards they did send a rather cheeky tweet to the new Australian Prime Minister though! More information here and here

Key References

NZ Stuff Award Winners

TVNZ 2015 Lineup

Ericisson Consumer Lab TV & Media Report

Sky TV NZ Channel Captioning Information

Emmy Award Winners

Freeview TV Guide

Individual Programme Information

Game of Thrones, Veep

NZ Herald Article 1.
NZ Herald Article 2
NZ Article 3


American Crime 1
American Crime 2

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