Nine Entertainment Co’s sales and marketing director, Peter Wiltshire, has acknowledged the network’s underperforming start to the ratings year but says its key demographic, 25-54yo, has increased in the last two weeks.
”We didn’t start with the new product and as a result they [viewers] have gone looking. Were we pleased with that start? No. But it’s only four weeks. They have the privilege of choice but now they are coming back,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
But Nine has actually played a number of new shows: Ben Elton Live from Planet Earth, Mike & Molly, $#*! My Dad Says, This is Your Life, Harry’s Law, two Parkinson / Frost specials plus returning shows including Underbelly, The Farmer Wants a Wife and more. Not to mention its cricket content in ratings season.
So far it has won 3 nights in the ratings year.
Wiltshire said viewers were sampling digital channels.
”Our challenge has been dealing with the proliferation of viewing and trying to see where people are going to land, and it’s taken a few weeks,” he said.
”We are now scheduling against 14 other channels.
”It has definitely become more complex.”
Programmers will also be looking towards the end of Daylight Savings in April, always a point when numbers will rise.
John Sintras, chief executive of media buyer Starcom, agreed viewers were sampling more digital content.
”Whereas before someone might have said there wasn’t anything worth watching [on the main channels], they are now looking at the other 12 or so channels and finding something to watch,'” he said.
Commercial peak-period viewers had fallen year-on-year by 1 per cent for Seven, 9 per cent for TEN and 15 per cent for Nine, but overall peak-time viewing is up 8 per cent.