ABC most reliable network, Nine worst -readers

TV Tonight readers have spoken. In the Audience Inventory, ABC comes up trumps as the most reliable network in programming. And Nine lands a convincing last.

abclThe ABC is the most reliable network -according to readers of TV Tonight- and Nine the least.

In the Audience Inventory, the public broadcaster was a clear winner in the key question of starting TV programmes on time by a huge 55% win.

It was followed by Foxtel (22%), SBS (11%), TEN (7%), Seven (3%) and Nine (2%).

The question was completed by 99% of the survey respondents, which totalled over 800.

ABC was also first in the question for most reliable overall programming by 53%, followed by Foxtel (18%), Seven (13%), TEN (10%), SBS (4%) and Nine (2%).

But readers slammed Nine for failing to start programmes on time (40%), then Seven (36%), TEN (23%). ABC, Foxtel and SBS all shared 0.3%.

When it came to the question of which network had the most unreliable overall programming the decision was even more harsh.

A whopping 80% voted for Nine.

It was followed by Seven (12%), TEN (6%) , SBS (1%) and 0.5% for Foxtel and the ABC.

There was some recognition for Seven’s ability to reschedule programmes it had pulled off air. It was first in that question, chosen by 34% of readers, followed by TEN (24%), ABC (17%), Foxtel (12%), Nine (10%) and SBS (3%).

Readers were especially vocal on programming issues. Some comments included:

  • I am sick of being treated like dirt by ratings hungry TV networks. Oh and when will the 3 commercial FTAs wake up to them selves and stop trying to copy/out do each other?
  • The Australian FTA networks are pathetic at starting a series, moving it around after just a few episodes, then dropping it because it didn’t get ratings. A show can’t get decent ratings if people don’t know when it’s going to be on from week to week. They don’t even advertise some enough to know they started before they move them to a new time. Some good series have gotten dropped due to these ridiculous programming decisions.
  • I don’t mind what time shows start, just as long as the times match to the EPG, and preferably other guides too.
  • Australian channels need to start programs at the advertised time. You can understand when live sport goes overtime and when a major news event affects programming. But TT and ACA going overtime every night is rubbish.
  • Scheduling and performance of this should be included in the code of practice. Also I have noted that the amount of commericals/promos have increased during the early part of the evening thus causing the scheduling overrun.
  • I absolutely refuse to watch channel 9 anymore thanks to their complete contempt for their audience. And then they can’t figure out why people aren’t interested in their shows.
  • Biggest issue I have with FTA commercial TV is their contempt for the viewers. Overwriting end credits, inaccurate program guides, mixing repeats and first run shows, and many more annoyances. It all boils down to a lack of respect towards the audience.
  • Hardly watch FTA TV except ABC and SBS, just got sick of the changing schedules and wrong start times, the commercial channels treat their viewers with contempt – esp. Nine
  • Ten run their shows overtime very badly, but their EPG does reflect this, eg. 7:31-8:38, so at least their shows can be properly recorded, unlike Seven and Nine.
  • We watch very little FTA TV now, only ABC1 & 2. Not viewing much SBS any more since they started putting ads within programs. Have full Platinum package from Foxtel & couldn’t do without it.
  • Get rid of: *Pop-up ads. *Shows starting late – 99.99% of the time, the station should know how long a show will go for. Would it kill them to inform the rest of us? And yet we keep going back for more… *ACMA
  • I would like more honesty from the networks and less cross promotion crap disguised into shows. Furthermore the ACMA has to do something bar slapping wrists (12 months later)
  • The FTA channels tend to have little regard for their viewers. A good example is the way C9 has handled the demise of ER. The last season was taken off half way through two years ago and since then it has appeared sporadically at best. Another example is the habit of running the last two episodes of a series one after the other on the same night. This often happens with programs such as Amazing Race or similar.
  • Major issues I have with TV Stations is that they always seem to ignore the viewers. We complain about the stations going over time for years but they still do it anyway. I like Good News week but I refuse to watch it now as they always go overtime and not by a little but by a lot.
  • I would like to see the networks actually say when they are axing a show, or when its moving to midnight, at the end of a previous episode so the viewers know whats going on.
  • The most important issue for Free-to-Air TV is that TV programs need to start and finish within 5 minutes of the time in the weekly printed guide, and over-the-air EIT guide data needs to be accurate to the minute.
  • FTA Networks have no clue – they start programs late, they show series that are anywhere from 6 – 12 months old eg TAR on Seven or don’t show it at all eg Survivor on Nine, to many ad breaks, this is why I get the shows elsewhere.
  • It was hard to choose which channel is worst when it comes to programming. It really irritates me that I get a tv guide for the week ahead and it is completely useless- it is rarely accurate for the next days programs, let alone the next weeks. I also like to read the credits, but the screen is always shrunk down so it’s impossible.
  • The programming department at channel nine needs to be put against the wall and shot.
  • Sport involving Australia at an international level (mainly referring to soccer here) should be shown on FTA and live!! All sport should be shown live (I understand there may be some exceptional circumstances).
  • It would be worthwhile for the networks to convene focus groups to determine the ‘image’ of the network, similar to the activity undertaken by Channel 9 in teh late eighties. That produced interesting results with Ch 9 seen as flamboyant, racy and flash, 7 as dependable, suburbian and boring, and 10 as irrelevant – how different it is now.
  • Re FTA channels: Honouring a series once it starts…even if it rates poor find another spot than 1:25am Monday morning.. show a bit of loyalty… (some shows that are just strange like Dance Y.A.O fair enough but like dexter, harpers island etc etc).
  • Make sure the networks get a copy of these results!!

The survey was conducted over a 10 day period in August but is not presented as scientific evidence.

More results will follow soon.

65 Responses

  1. Just spent the last 4 years in the USA. All TV shows run on time all the time which means that you can program your Tivo or DVR and not miss show beginnings or endings. This includes all cable channels and local channels.

  2. You have even made it to the UK Media forum digital spy. Doesn’t look good for Channel 9. They quoted the unreliable network that “needs to be put against the wall and shot.”

  3. @ jay jay – we don’t have a choice but to accept what they do and they know it so nothing changes. The networks also know that if they made complaining easier they’d have to put on extra staff to handle the correspondence as mentioned in an earlier story.

  4. Well done David with the results / article making the Daily Telegraph.

    Headline also appropriate : ‘Channel Nine’s still the one to annoy viewers’

    “In a poll by TV Tonight.com blogger David Knox, Channel 9 drew 80 per cent of the protest vote for the most unreliable programming, followed by Seven (12 per cent), Ten (6 per cent), SBS (1 per cent), Foxtel and the ABC with 0.5 per cent”

  5. a boycott over shows starting late? I think advertisers will laugh that one off. Ok – fair enough if a show starts 10 minutes late get upset, but is it really worth all this hatred? Shooting 9 programmers Bazza? Nice. Seems like 7 and 10 are shocking offenders at running late. You going after them too? How many of you can actually say (honestly) that you have called a TV station and complained about a show starting late? Of the 800 people who filled out this survey and ranked that as their main issue, who has officially complained? Bitching about it to your mates is not complaining. Writing about it on here is not complaining. If 800 people were to suddenly call a network believe me something would happen! And remember when you call, if you speak to the person like they are worthless, the first thing they will do is focus on what a tosser you are being and forget all about your complaint.
    And just keep in mind, as much as all of you are whinging, you still tune in each night. As do millions of other Australians. Something must be going right!

  6. for my money way too many adds are ruining most shows i watch, i know they have to show adds to make it profitable but sometimes there just to long and frequent

  7. @timmy. Considering that TV Week is owned by the same company that owns Channel 9, you’d think it’s in Nine’s best interest not to bastardise what is printed in their own magazine listing. I wonder what TV Week think of Nine’s poor scheduling practices? It’s costing them readers and ad revenue.

  8. it is interesting though. If you ran an audience survey ten years ago I think the biggest gripe would be stations displaying watermark logos on the screen during programs. Now in 2009, that one thing barely rates a mention anymore. We’ve just come to accept this as television. Perhaps the networks think we’ll eventually just accept what they’re doing with program scheduling etc and move on. And what they don’t realise is that yes this time we Will move on… but this time to the internet…… (as indeed many people have already done). The networks won the watermark battle but they needn’t think they’ll win this time.

  9. Complaining to the networks about shows running late etc is pointless. They don’t care about viewers. They do, however, care about advertisers.

    To make a difference, what we need is a campaign targeting major TV advertisers. Complain to the marketing departments of the advertisers and (at least threaten to) stop buying their products unless the shows in which they advertise run on time.

    Which shows are the worst? Idol? TT/ACA? Footy Show?

    Through blogs like TV Tonight and social networking sites like Twitter/MySpace/Facebook etc, people could actually make a difference. The advertisers to target and relevant email addresses, fax number etc would need to be worked out in advance.

    David – are you up for the challenge?

  10. I wonder how the revenue for TV Week and the Sunday newspapers with full week guides are going? I cancelled the Adelaide’s Sunday Mail subscription 3 years ago, when I realised there was no need for a TV guide, when everything in it was incorrect (no the fault of the publisher). The only reason I got the Sunday paper was for the TV guide, definately not the content of the paper!

    Surely I’m not the only one to stop purchasing TV Guides/newspapers?
    I noticed Ten tonight updated the EPG for TBYG to end at 20:41 rather than 20:30. However Seven didnt update theirs to say that PTTR was going to start 10 mins late.

  11. Thanks for the entertainment Jay Jay. I actually wish I had your generous outlook. Unfortunately I believe that the FTA’s are money hungry manipulators who couldnt care a jot about their viewers. But thats just me.

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