Gyngell: “Pay TV will flatten out”

A frank David Gyngell told media buyers yesterday digital channels would see Pay TV level out, and admitted that "Dance Your Ass Off" wasn't his finest moment.

davidgyngellNine CEO David Gyngell spoke pragmatically to media buyers yesterday in Melbourne, at the end of his three-city tour.

Born and bred into a television world, he was again frank about the network’s upcoming slate. After the showreel featuring Underbelly, Hey Hey, Top Gear and many obscure titles such as Send in the Dogs he conceded that not everything will work.

“There will be a lot of good ones, and a few bad ones -I did put out Dance Your Ass Off this year which wasn’t one of the finest CV moments for me. There will be a few more to come and there’s been a few more before that,” he admitted.

Gyngell’s approach to Nine is for GO! to complement the Nine brand in its programming. He signalled a third channel “early” in the new year and yesterday addressed the success of GO! with a gentle reminder.

“I don’t want anyone for a second to be under the illusion that it’s not about anything other than driving the engine of Channel Nine. It’s still about making big shows that rate. Big local shows. You use your overseas output deals to pepper the schedules of your local shows.

“I really believe Pay TV will flatten out in this country,” he predicted.

“This time last year you had five choices of television. This time next year you’re going to have 15. So the challenge for all of us is to give people choice to watch but also to reinvest the money you put with us to make great big broadcast television.

“The most important thing is to make broad television and it’s also the hardest thing to do.”

Frequently in 2009, Nine scheduling often stretched a little a very long way. Gyngell was candid on the network’s output deals.

“We haven’t got as many one hour dramas as our competitors. It’s a lucky dip. You can’t be too proud because you put CSI on a Thursday night about how smart you are. You didn’t make it, commission it, you got it as part of the deal. What makes you proud to be a Channel Nine worker is you make it, you come up with the idea, you put it to air.

“It’s been well documented what happened to this company and it’s sad. But it’s not sad anymore. We didn’t miss out on the Olympics thanks to Eddie and (Jeffrey) Brownie, we didn’t miss out on the World Cup Rugby Union, we didn’t miss out on Tiger Woods, we didn’t miss out on Warner Brothers. Trust me, we will be at the table on the AFL.”

Gyngell’s only slip up in the launch was again dubbing GO! “the new TEN” and Nine “is the old Nine.”

GO! is most certainly not TEN which has original Australian dramas, reality, news, children’s, sport and many shows attracting stellar audiences. GO! is a new kid on the mostly-US programming block, giving Pay TV channels a run for their money, with the occasional alternative in Free to Air.

One Sunday night win does not a channel make.

As for Nine being the old Nine, it’s a confusing statement. Nine is back to its former glory? Nine of the past is no more and there is a new Nine?

In addition to the titles announced yesterday, here are some of the other titles promised for 2010. Some are Australian, some are renewed titles, some are international acquisitions, some have been sitting on the shelf, and some have been promised to us before.

Surprising Facts About Food
When I Grow Up
Cook Along live
Australian Families of Crime
Between The Lines
The Jo Frost Roadshow
Next Door Nightmares
20 to 1: Adults Only
The Secret Millionaire
Celebrity Singing Bee
Two and a Half Men
Cold Case
Cops LAC

40 Responses

  1. Pay tv will flatten out, but FTA’s will fall off a cliff.

    I presume they must offer the media buyers a fair amount of liquid refreshment before they’ll believe this tool and this year’s excuses.

  2. Only watch Channel Nine for the Rugby League, and they do a terrible job with that! I think what Nine hasn’t understood about the changed Television Market in Australia is that, with so much choice, you can not expect to find too many shows that draw in a huge cross section of the viewing audience. What Seven and Ten have done well over the last few years is cater for many different audiences with their programing. Be strong on one area with a certain show, rather than drawing a below average audience across all demographics. This see’s Seven and Ten having a more committed for many of their shows. (Hope that makes sense!).

  3. Pay Tv has nothing to worry about.Nothing has changed and as i have mentioned before the digital channels even started they are just bonus channels the Primary channels will always be number 1 priority.
    Digital channels as everyone is finding is just old shows,programs that never rated the first time around and were removed,now being dusted off to be shown again.
    Free to air dos’nt have the money as it is to serve up new programs on the digital channels.Be interesting to see down the track for example if Jay Leno keeps being shown or not.
    I’m surprised David Gyngell admitted to airing Dance Your Ass Off,you could tell by looking at the commercials it was never going to work very poor decision on his part

  4. Once you have Pay Tv, you will find most of the FTA shows are full of craps. Overseas shows are really good and there are so many channels that you can choose. And Pay TV has many good locally made Australia shows like Project Runaway Australia, Selling Houses Australia, Satisfaction,Tangle and many more.

  5. Who would want to get Pay TV with all the choice you have now. Plus Pay TV is almost all overseas shows. Judging from the recent ratings, people want to be watching more australian content, so why would Pay TV rise when this issue is against them, plus the fact that it is not free?

  6. No way Pay Tv will be flatten out, this guy is way behind time and he doesn’t knows what a thing!
    Pay Tv will become better and stronger and FTA will be struggling as it’s happening in the world.

  7. When Ten started out it was pretty much American programming wasn’t it? I think it is fair to say Go! is the new Ten, it’s just Ten circa 1965. I look forward to Go!’s version of Number 96.

  8. I can see where he is coming from, saying that pay-TV will flatten out. There are only going to be more and more channels launched in the upcoming years, which will make pay TV less and less attractive.

    The networks could easily ‘kill’ pay-TV if they put their minds together. Aggressively pooling their resources into obtaining the rights to Australian sports would break the back of pay TV in this country. Imagine how many people would not renew their Foxtel subscription if, next year, Nine and Ten took the rights to all NRL games, Seven and Ten took the rights to all AFL games, and Ten (through One) and SBS got all international football (soccer) games.

  9. Go! started off as a great channel but has been bastardised with random schedule changes and typical Nine-programming moves. Stop pi**ing off your audience, Nine, put Gossip Girl back on at a decent timeslot and quit screwing around. Oh yeah, and Gyngell looks like a bogan in that picture

  10. I’ve also been watching more GO! than Nine; the problem is I’m outside their target 14-39 demographic. Which goes to show how out of kilter their programming is for that channel – repeats of Frasier, Seinfeld and Hogan’s Heroes, et al are not 14-39 shows and every time I look at the guide for GO! (as unreliable and error-prone an activity as that is) I shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking, or drinking… However, as I watched virtually no Nine at all prior to GO! starting up I guess they’re somewhat better off than they were. Still, a youth channel it ain’t.

  11. @Tex. I read a lot and my fave international site is TV By The Numbers. Broadcast / FTA tv is going down hill. Look at the ratings for the top 10, five & ten years ago. 1.5million now would have been dismal then. Shows in the top 10 were 2.5millionish. These are the facts.
    Cable tv in the US, UK, Germany, Italy and other developed places are booming. Murdoch has even made inroads with the Chinese Govt! (sorry,thats a whole other story).
    The only critically acclaimed stuff is coming out of cable and that trend is happening here in Oz too, slowly but clearly.
    I know numbers can be fiddled with and spun to suit who ever but this is a consistent and obvious trend.

  12. GO! has gone down hill rapidly. The over the air guide is completely incorrect, the content of shows has dropped since i it started (Get Smart, Hogans Heroes etc). I thought this was was supposed to be a youth channel. I guees they are looking for the youth of the 1960’s.
    What is annoying me with GO! and Nine is the titles “Friday/Saturday Night Movie” on the guide, rather than the actual movie name.

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