The station was originally named TV4, and was launched in mid 1997 as a station for an 18-30 year-old audience featuring a mix of programmes. However on October 1 2003 TV4 ceased broadcasting and relaunched on October 3 2003 as a music channel called C4, the very first program to be screened was the Top 100 Songs of All Time as chosen by viewers. When the station is off air it shows Infomercials. However, C4 is only off air for free-to-air terrestrial viewers. For viewers that are subscribed to Freeview or SKY Digital, the channel operates 24 hours. New Zealand on Air paid $500,000 for the first year of operation. C4 was to broadcast 58 hours a week of music television in prime-time, reaching 72 percent of the population, with a target of 20-25 percent New Zealand music content agreed with NZ on Air.
C4 has a deal with MTV Networks to air MTV programming in New Zealand, which has proven successful to date, with shows such as Pimp My Ride and Jackass proving popular among C4's target demographic. Music videos are being gradually replaced by content of this kind. The MTV content on C4 remains on air although Sky TV has launched a local MTV station featuring some of the same shows. MTV content has decreased because of increasing General Entertainment programming.
As of April 11, 2007, C4 went into 14:9 widescreen transmission on the Sky Network. Media Works advised this editor in an email that 16:9 widescreen transmissions of C4 would begin a few weeks after April 11. C4 did the full switch over on May 2, the same day that Freeview launched. It screens in 16:9 on analog VHF broadcasts.
From July 1, 2008, The channel was currently in the process of changing into a youth orientated entertainment network (as opposed to a music channel) operated under the same programming direction of its sister station TV3. As well as this C4 moved to channel number 12 on Sky Digital and TelstraClear InHome TV to reflect its new programming direction with a reduced focus on music.
In its relatively small time on air, C4 has caused controversy around New Zealand.
The first such instance was when it chose to air the BBC series Popetown becoming the first TV network in the world to show the series, originally made for the BBC but then pulled from their schedule. This caused much controversy with New Zealand Roman Catholics as it was seen to be demeaning of Pope John Paul II. However, all 10 episodes made were aired. This prompted bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in New Zealand to call for a boycott of all CanWest radio and television stations.
Catholic leaders and other religious groups such as Family Life International called for a boycott of all CanWest stations in February 2006 when C4 chose to air the South Park episode Bloody Mary sooner than originally planned. The following day it was reported that the episode was C4's highest rated show ever, drawing 210,000 viewers, six times South Park's normal audience. Protests were held outside the C4 studios the night it aired and the episode drew the most complaints ever received by the Broadcasting Standards Authority. Flashbacks, Amp'd , Freestyle, Intellectual Property and The Sound Lab all suffered from C4's mid-2006 revamp. C4 wanted to air new fresh shows, along with a fresh on-air identity which was launched soon after and all four shows were cancelled.
Note many of these shows will be repeated at various points during the year.
|7:00 PM||7:30 PM||8:00 PM||8:30 PM||9:00 PM||9:30 PM||10:00 PM|
|SUN||True Hollywood Story||Ninja Warrior||The Sunday Night Movie|
|MON||Family Guy||The Hills||Hogan Knows Best||Jonos New Show||The Sarah Silverman Show||It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia|
|TUE||Everybody Hates Chris||Bro Town||Beauty and the Geek||Backpackers|
|WED||The Office||30 Rock||Battlestar Galactica||The Girls of the Playboy Mansion||Cops|
|THU||Family Guy||American Dad||King of the Hill||South park||Special features|
|FRI||The Official New Zealand Top 40||Friday Night Lights||Chapelle's Show||The Dudesons|
|SAT||Mission Manband||The Salt N Pepa Show||Ninja Warrior||Video Hits||Jonos New Show Encore|