TV3 is reviewing its expensive deal with American network CBS, which could spell an end to the flagship news and current affairs show 60 Minutes.
The agreement is up for renewal at the end of the year, and TV3's owner, MediaWorks, is looking at investing the money in locally made drama, comedies and factual shows instead.
Spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer said: "Whenever any of our international studio deals come up, we look carefully at all options, and these days we're increasingly investing in local content. But it's too early to make any comment on the CBS deal, which runs until the end of 2012."
60 Minutes would probably be the first casualty. The show employs TV3's biggest stars - Mike McRoberts and his wife Paula Penfold, and former TVNZ political editor Guyon Espiner, but they would continue to make current affairs under a new banner.
Other top-rating CBS shows include the CSI franchise, NCIS and America's Next Top Model. These are expected to remain on TV3, due to life-of-series licence.
This means it would take a few years for the effects of the change to be felt, as TV3 slowly loses new shows to whichever network takes up the contract next year. Sky TV NZ refused to comment on speculation that it would take up the CBS contract for its Soho channel.