New Plymouth mum calls for toddler friendly shows after Bravo replaces FOUR
A mum who has started a petition to save TV channel FOUR says she's upset that her kids had their favourite shows taken away.
On Saturday Mediaworks replaced TV channel FOUR with Bravo, which airs non-stop reality programming like Real Housewives, Top Chef and Keeping up with the Kardashians.
New Plymouth mum Kerry Peacock started a petition which, by midday on Thursday, had gained more than 6500 signatures.
She said the shows her two-year-old twins Elizabeth and Isabelle watched were educational and a way to keep them busy for an hour while she got the family ready for the day.
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"I don't want to see them watching TV all day long, but it's nice for them to have an option of something to watch," Peacock said.
"It just made me really sad that it's been taken away from the kids and they didn't get a say in it."
Instead of Sesame St, Peppa Pig and Emma, there was now three hours of infomercials between 6am and 9am.
"At first I didn't realise they were going to take FOUR away, I thought they were just bringing in a new channel," she said.
"However Sunday morning, we got up and went to put Sesame St on for the kids, and it was no longer there. We had some very sad children."
Peacock added: "I had one mother tell me her daughter asked her if they could buy a Bambillo [massage bed] after watching infomercials which made me feel a bit sad," she said.
The loss of FOUR leaves TV2 as the only free to air channel showing children's programmes in the morning, but Peacock said they were aimed at older children.
"There's not a lot of stuff for preschoolers," she said.
"It's a shame. Not everyone can afford Sky or unlimited internet to stream Netflix or Lightbox.
Peacock said she started the petition after talking to a number of friends and seeing disappointed comments on Facebook.
"I thought someone else would do something about it and it didn't appear that they were so I thought that I'd give it a go and I'm really pleased with how well it has taken off," she said.
The petition calls for FOUR to be back on air, or at least a time slot on TV3 given to the children's programmes that aired previously.
Support has come in from around New Zealand, with parent's venting their frustration.
"It's so fantastic that when my children wake and are eating breakfast they can learn about plastic surgery, fake tans, real estate, and money and all things that Bravo TV feel are important topics for my 5-year-old and 3-year-old to know before heading to school," Christchurch mum Kelsi Wyatt-Grainge said on the petition.
Mignon Olivier, from Auckland, said Sesame St was an institution for Kiwi children.
"It is a fundamental part of growing up," she said.
"It's part of my son's routine. He knows that once Sesame Street ends and we hear the Emma song - it's time to leave for daycare.
"Never in my life did I think I would be this outraged about not getting to watch Sesame Street but it's such a big part of our routine. Please bring it back."