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Leckie takes swipe at rivals at Melbourne launch

Always colourful Seven CEO David Leckie doesn't disappoint before Seven stars, advertisers and media at a launch in Melbourne.

Seven stars including cast members from Winners and Losers gathered at Seven’s 2012 programming launch at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne last night.

An obviously proud CEO David Leckie once again had everybody talking with his usually colourful style, drawing plenty of laughs.

In taking aim at his rivals, he said: “The other mob, Channel TEN’s got one show, a cooking show. Channel Nine’s got the yo-yo show.” Presumably it was a reference to Nine’s schedule…

But it was Leckie’s robust delivery that drew puzzled looks -a mix of outbursts, forgetfulness, humour and occasionally indecipherable words.

“Guess what? The biggest thing is we’ve got three networks now. Even me… I had no idea how important, how it was going to change our lives by having three networks. Having 7TWO, ‘7THREE’ and our Primary Channel. It’s just unbelievable. It’s gone through the roof.

“Nine and TEN to their credit have had a go too, but they haven’t gone anywhere near as well as us. I think we’ve now got three networks. Three!

“And we haven’t even gone promoting them as much as we should.”

Even post-event MC Hamish McLachlan noted the boss had performed in typical Leckie-style.

That Leckie had reason to celebrate can’t be denied. The stats he presented to advertisers were the stuff of dreams.

It was left to other execs to drill down into the detail and spruik the Seven West Media group, advertising opportunities, branded opportunities and SMG Red advertising division.

Seven worked hard to present its MirriAd digital product placement feature in which product placement can be inserted into dramas like Packed to the Rafters in post-production.

It also revealed a new mascot for 7mate, a black and white dog, to join its “TV Man” mascot on existing channels.

Director of Programming and Production Tim Worner talked up an impressive slate of shows, as revealed on Wednesday night in Sydney. He insisted Seven wasn’t celebrating its ratings success, and instead looking for the next big idea. But the key to its success was “planning, planning and more planning.”

In video clips of Pictures of You host Brian Nankervis could be seen talking to celebrities about a childhood photograph and memories of early years. Footage of SBS show Cup Fever was used to promote the upcoming Working Dog sports show Sports Fever -the show will be live to air.

Still no more detail on A Place to Call Home, but it has a female hero at its centre and the image for the show of a ute in a field hinted at a rural setting…. McLeod’s Daughters meets Always Greener? Who knows…

Footage of casting sessions from Please Marry My Boy drew the biggest laughs. Overbearing mums, hot single sons, mummy’s boys…. looks like great trash telly.

Seven is also branding its four AFL shows with distinct identities, and has big plans for Saturday night football. Expect further AFL programmes to complement this.

Footage of UK drama Titanic looks very tempting -but please, let’s avoid promos with pop tunes over period pieces?

Similarly, early promos of My Kitchen Rules would probably provoke a reaction across the Tasman. Several sheep gags in reference to a NZ couple (“we’ll raise the baaaaaaaaaaaa”) are on shaky gound.


Shows missing from yesterday’s announcement, Deal or No Deal, Private Practice and How I Met Your Mother? were all confirmed. Absent from the list was Conviction Kitchen.

Guests later enjoyed a performance by X Factor judge Guy Sebastian.

In attendance at the Melbourne event were some clients from Adelaide and Perth, while a Brisbane event is slated for next week.

28 Responses

  1. The official trailer of the Titanic Miniseries has been released by ITV on YouTube. It definitely looks promising. Don’t forget that it’s still being filmed and in production. It’s far from finished.

  2. I think if Seven is going to keep with the home spun drama they’re going to risk alienating audiences, I hope they take a chance with something different like a political drama i.e something set during the formation of Federation or a science fiction.

  3. @Buddha – thanks for the clarific’n. Hadn’t considered that the copyright owners would object to their intellectual property being tampered with. I do note that it has so far only been talked about in relation to Seven’s own shows. Also, I don’t watch either program, but I thought that it was already occurring with PTTR and poss W&L?

  4. I applaud Leckie’s ability to just speak his mind. I wish we had more of it but obviously the other two don’t have much to brag about.

    tmorgan96, if that challenge was possible I’d show you exactly the great things that the network is capable of and Seven would actually have some real competition. But the country is stuck with what we have now 🙁

  5. PTTR is already on the decline. Seven’s own fault since they take advantage of barely known actors by signing them on to multiple years for next to nothing money.

    AGT only did well thanks to that 14 yr old boy

    Wild Boys is boring and won’t be on Sunday nights if the second season has a green light

    DWTS has already run out of even D list ‘stars’

    Sure 7 is still strong but it’s not invincible ..

  6. Secret Squirrel – thank you for pointing out that Kenny had lost his dictionary (I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt rather than call him ignorant). I love someone who goes off half-cocked. Like a 9 programer when handed some dreck with Ben Elton, Eddie or Jamie Durie hosting.
    Back on topic. 7 obviously has the deepest pockets and everyone else knows it. 10 just aren’t in the race. 9 relies on one or two sitcoms and belts them to death.
    as for those pop tunes – do we blame Masterchef???

  7. @SecretSquirrel re Mirriad … I’d be really surprised if a broadcaster would composite product placement into a programme they don’t own the copyright on.
    Or that an international copyright owner would agree to it even if asked.
    For example, I reckon somebody like the BBC would object very forcefully or even legally to electronic placements in their shows such as Vicar of Dilbey.

    Inserting a commercial product into a scene is very much different to supering a promo strap. International distributors & producers accept that the latter is part of the business of competition between networks all over the world. If they were asked to agree to in-show product placement in hit, classic or iconic shows and were favourably disposed to do it – they’d rightly demand very very big $$$ for the right.

    In-house produced programmes would be an entirely different case, such as PTTR or W&L, H&A etc.
    They could do what they like, assuming (as noted on the Gruen Transfer this week) that the placement is sympathetic to a character or story arc.

    Similarly, I’d guess that they probably negotiate in advance with local prod cos to use Mirriad when they do the deal memos for externally made local shows.

  8. I don’t really watch Seven, but I think all those suggesting the Leckie wouldn’t work in another field or wouldn’t be wanted is stupid. Seven at this point will win Every week and key demo this year. He may be arrogant, he may be hard to work with, people may hate him, but when he delivers these results, any company would jump at the chance to have him.

  9. Well done 7. A strong slate of programming, a strong investment into local productions and distinct digital channels will ensure you will delivery that pathetic excuse of a tv network- 9, another thumping in 2012. I mean the voice and big brother….seriously what where they thinking? Do 9 just purchase these shows incase 7 gets them and turns them into hits? I’d give them a go if they were on 7, but definitely won’t bother even sampling them because of the vomit network they will be on.

  10. Boor/bore/boar – they all apply.

    MirriAd is unfortunately the way things are going to go as more and more people avoid the actual ad breaks. That’s also why we have more pop-ups and other screen spam during shows because at least the network can be reasonably sure of our attention then.

    The dreadful thing about MirriAd is that it doesn’t just have to apply to newly created content. They can go back and put stuff in Friends or The Vicar of Dibley or Bewitched. If it bothers you, do what I do and specifically not purchase any products from companies whose advertising is annoying or intrusive.

    @tmorgan96 – I wouldn’t claim to be able to run an entire network but I certainly would have made some better programming decisions this year (without the benefit of hindsight). There are a few others on here who seem to have a good feel for what would work too. The only way Nine is going to claw their way back (and I hope that they do) is to start respecting shows and viewers again. Stability and communication – how hard can it be?

  11. @Kenny – Derryn wasnt calling Leckie a “bore” he was calling him a “boor” – as in boorish – the definition is of a childish person, although more common in Australia would be similar to a bogan or drunken lout

  12. @Derryn – “Leckie is such a boor (sic). Would he survive in any other industry?”
    Don’t get the point. He did a pretty good job at Nine. Did an even better job at Seven.
    He has the “tv touch”. And he’s far from boring.
    Why would he want to try any other industry? But, the answer is “probably yes”.

  13. Seven has had a good year- Nine will probably improve next year thanks to some stronger programming but Seven will still do well. For all those who love throwing poo at anyone who is optimistic with Nine (like me on the last post), just think that 10 years ago, Seven were an absolute mess. In 2001, everyone said they would win the year with Always Greener and everything else, but as usual, they screwed up and lost.
    Yes, Nine is in a rut- but Grygnell, the man in charge, is incredibly passionate about television. It takes a lot of effort to run a TV station, so instead of writing them off like that, be a little more respectful. I would like to see any of you run Nine. It would be hilarious to see that ship sink.
    Back to topic, Seven have the right to be bragging. They have all the hits right now. TEN is in the wilderness. Nine are still rebuilding after the Eddie CEO era. ABC is being turned into a BBC. SBS are…well SBS. Foxtel is underperforming due to the economy. There is no competition. Hopefully in 2012, there will be some competition so I can be stuck in the dilemma of choosing between 2 shows at the same time.

  14. 7 is on top at the moment and obviously Leckie has no qualms using the arrogance and brashness he learned beside Kerry Packer in spruiking their success.

    7 is on top for the same reason 9 was for all those years. It is led by people who love TV and know their audience. 9 went downhill when KP died and the place was overrun with accountants and venture capitalists who had no feel for TV. Look at 7’s success with local drama compared with the other networks. This is because they know what the audience want. Some called the homey and soft but they know you’ll never build a mainstream audience on adgy niche characters.

  15. I have no problem with pop used to promote period pieces.
    It gets better exposure to younger viewers. The standard Brit drama…older viewers are always gonna watch. In Downton Abbey’s case I’ve no doubt this sell increased viewers.

  16. “let’s avoid promos with pop tunes over period pieces” are you serious? Downton Abbey was the most successful promo launch of the year and it had Kesha on it… Don’t hold your breath… Ps I work for another network…

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