TEN boss: Audiences not shrinking

TEN CEO Grant Blackley today defends the OzTAM ratings system today in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

He says claims of a flawed ratings panel and suggestions of dramatically declining audiences have fuelled unnecessary confusion.

“Suggestions that fewer people watch television in this new landscape are incorrect. The year started slowly because big shows were not scheduled until after the Winter Olympics,” he writes.

“But, as expected, audiences bounced back. The total television audience has grown year on year. At the end of survey week 25, total audiences are up 3 per cent across primetime and 3.3 per cent across the entire day. More significantly, viewing of the elusive 18-34 demographic is up 9.2 per cent in primetime.”

TEN owns OzTAM along with Nine and Seven.

The network will release its mid year ratings report after the end of next week.

You can read the rest at the Sydney Morning Herald.


  1. @aznfratboy: Again, you’ve missed the point. Whilst individual shows may not be rating the same total audience as your example of ER, Blackley was stating that overall TV audience was on the increase. Why wouldn’t it be? Freeview offers more than we have ever had before.

    And your example of ER is poor. Just because you didn’t watch what was on at 7:30 doesn’t mean other people didn’t. Of course a quality show will draw in viewers, but to suggest that a lead-in has little to no effect is ignorant. Besides which, what does it matter if TEN only has lead-in dependent shows, when MasterChef is a supreme lead-in?? Smart move to save any “stand alone” programs when MasterChef is no longer on!!

    And no, you don’t watch MasterChef so if anyone wants to reminisce about ER or Becker, we’ll let you know.

  2. @ aznfratboy

    Yes clearly you haven’t watched MasterChef. They’re not anywhere near where they started. It’s a common for these sort of shows to bring back contestants – they did this “twist” last year too and this year on 7’s show.

    With two contestants eliminated each week they’ve only extended the show by over a week at most. Factoring in the amount of contestants that have left due to personal reasons that ends up about even.

    But it’s a show you love, why wouldn’t you want more? Especially if a contestant was a great chef but had a spot of bad luck?

  3. @slydoggie

    By non lead-in dependent I mean a show that can stand on it’s own, and will get similiar ratings without the show that comes before it. ER was a good example, can’t remember what use to air on Channel 9 7:30 on a Thursday back in the day, but ER still managed to pull 2m+ viewers at 8:30. Now unless a show that completely insulted nearly every culture and stereotype to the point where everybody boycotted 9 completely, I’m sure ER’s viewership wouldn’t have declined by any large margin.

    It actually sort of does mean that viewership has declined. Look at the figures way back in the day, shows could routinely pull 2m, today only events, like Origin or Grand Final or Rafters opening episode could pull 2m. And after that, it’s a pretty large gap to what comes next, 1.5m or so gets you like 6th place or so? Becker was getting 1.5m and never registered as a ratings threat anywhere, now we rave on about how 2.5 men still pulls 1.5m despite all the smack it gets from haters.

    Now I don’t watch MasterChef at all, so I don’t really know much about it, but really…? Inviting contestants back just to juice out more episodes? It’s not a tactic, it’s exploitation. It’s like me eating a huge piece of steak in front of a starving kid, then throwing 3/4 of it away when I’m full. Fact of the matter is, it’s what? 2 months into the contest, and we’re pretty much right back where we started, do they plan on doing this every two months? Because if they do, someone send me a telepathic message in 2095 when we finally find the real “MasterChef” who’s achievements throughout the 85 year ordeal is discovering how to cook a pasta, which is essentially microwavable.

    Wait, scratch “essentially” make the word “actually”…

  4. @aznfratboy: Just because there is now a greater number of ways we consume media, doesn’t mean less people watch TV. There might be more people watching but for less time…there is a big difference. All programs have a lead in of some description. Are TEN to blame for having such a great program in MasterChef? It would be stupid to not utilise it as a lead in for other programs. I don’t know if you have actually been watching MasterChef…it has not had an entire new cast mid way through. The return of a couple of dismissed contestants is disappointing as it seems an obvious attempt to prolong the series…but when it is capable of pulling in 2 million viewers, maybe its a smart move by the producers.

    @Neon Kitten: The rating system is not perfect. Around 3500 homes for the entirety of Australia? Yet this ratio is better than anywhere else in the world. The data is extrapolated from this group, so yes there is obviously going to be differences to what the true result would otherwise be. Flawed? Not really. Ideal? Certainly not. But if you ever read up on it you will find it better than you think.

    @DansDans: Yes, I’m sure the CEO wants to be stuck in 3rd forever…that is a well thought out comment. The fact is the system is fine…maybe just the number of panelists should be increased? But then how many people will refuse to have “Big Brother” recording what they are watching?

  5. Ratings for 10 or ratings for channels across the board? Because obviously audiences have shrunk, with 20 million different new sources of TV watching, internet, i, so on so forth, plus, our inability to air episodes of foreign series in order doesn’t help.

    For 10, outside of MasterChef, what do they have? Do they have a TV show that can stand on its own? No, Lie To Me, Glee, Modern Family, are all lead-in and promotion dependent. The entire MasterChef franchise has had to get new contestants halfway through, not one or two, but an entire cast, so essentially, after 2 months, we are no closer to finding this seasons MasterChef than we were last November.

    Consistency across the board would be a welcome change on 10, hell it’d be a welcome change on any channel.

    P.S it would help if networks didn’t spoil the episodes in the promos, they should look to SBS for promos, their promo of The Killing was excellent, I didn’t watch it because I’m not a fan of reading subtitles, but I was very intrigued and I was very tempted to follow it.

  6. Keep pretending nothings wrong Grant.. The scary thing is you might actually win the “ratings” if you developed a better system. But you want to be stuck in 3rd forever..

  7. Wow that’s interesting about the18-34s. The Masterchef effect is a game changer for everyone. Ten seem to have the right strategy, and the right team to deliver to their audience. NIne and Seven seem to be falling asleep in their jason recliner rockers along with their core audience.

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