A defensive Nine CEO has brushed aside criticism that the network is lagging behind Seven and TEN with its programming plans for 2010.
“They haven’t seen us yet,” David Gyngell told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I am very confident about Nine for next year. I’m more confident about Nine [in 2010] than the last two years and I’m looking forward to telling the market about that at the end of the month. Seven is going to come off next year, TEN is going to come off, and we will go up.”
Yes it’s spin time of year.
“Top Gear will be the best show on any commercial network next year, no one will argue [with] that,” he said.
“Our underlying message is we are very, very confident. Just watch.”
Amongst Nine’s goodies are the Winter Olympics, Underbelly 3, Hey Hey specials, Top Gear and V -which just debuted to an impressive 14m viewers in the US. It also has more Sea Patrol, Rescue: Special Ops and The Story of Maria Korp. Another drama series is in pre-production.
But media buyers are more sceptical.
Henry Tajer, chief executive of Universal McCann said, “Nine needs a strong mothership. That’s what I’m looking for. On what I’ve seen so far, Seven and TEN should have a good year. Nine will be last to market so they really do have to make it count. They will be judged very quickly.”
One Nine source yesterday told TV Tonight it was on track to win 18-49 and 25-54 demos this year, adding: “Seven is skewing older each year. The over 55’s give Seven its volume in Total People numbers, but they’re not worth a minty wrapper for revenue-generation and advertisers and media buyers. 95% of the total TV ad spend occurs in the three demos 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54.”