The 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.