John Drinnan

Media writer for the New Zealand Herald

TV3 cans Sports Tonight

Howard Dobson, presenter of TV3's Sports Tonight. File photo / Amos Chapple
Howard Dobson, presenter of TV3's Sports Tonight. File photo / Amos Chapple

TV3 is cancelling its late-night daily show Sports Tonight at the end of the year, after eight years on the air.

But a TV3 source said it had nothing to do with the show's presenter Howard Dobson and his emotional reporting after Shane Cameron's boxing fight loss.

TV3 head of news and current affairs Mark Jennings said Sports Tonight's ratings were not as good as they had been and there were better options for overseas non-sport programming in the 11pm time slot.

He said Dobson's role as presenter was not a factor in lowered performance and the scrapping of Sports Tonight.

Staff were told yesterday and Dobson was not available for comment today.

But Jennings said he would continue with the show to the end of the year and TV3 was optimistic there would be new opportunities for him.

Asked if TV3 would be moving resources to boost its sports coverage in the second half of 3 News - presented by Michelle Pickles and Hamish McKay - Jennings said the company was always looking at ways to improve

But he stressed that the present team were doing a good job and scoring strong ratings against TVNZ.

A TV3 source said the show was scrapped to ease pressure on current affairs budgets, as it launched new current affairs initiatives next year.

- NZ Herald

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