Snoozing, losing a problem for TEN according to ABC boss

TEN's audience numbers have dropped in part because it didn't fast-track enough shows claims ABC boss Mark Scott.

TEN’s audience numbers have dropped in part because it didn’t fast-track enough shows claims ABC boss Mark Scott.

TEN’s youthful audience are migrating more to illegal downloads, which has impacted on broadcast numbers.

Scott was addressing the Institute of a Broadband Enabled Society in Melbourne.

“To showcase the new 2012 ratings year on Ten, they had had held them back until several months after they were first broadcast to considerable fanfare in the US. Television networks have always done this in Australia,” he said.

“But this year, Channel 10 found the audiences it had been expecting weren’t there – they’d been and gone, online. They were good shows, easily found and watched within hours of their initial US broadcast. And there is no doubt that with its traditional younger demographic profile, a network like TEN is more vulnerable to this than other networks, but we‘re all vulnerable.”

He also noted delayed screenings of Mad Men and The Newsroom had undermined buzz for profile shows on Foxtel.

While he says that rights holders still need to be protected, even ABC fast-tracked Dr. Who onto iView.

“But if we hadn’t put it up on iView, the ratings would have been down anyway – because it is reasonable to assume that many of those 180,000 would have found another way to watch the program before it was shown on ABC Television.”

TEN is fast-tracking Homeland and new US shows in October while Foxtel has already begun fast-tracking new and existing shows.

Source: The Age

32 Responses

  1. Ten’s 16-34 is most likely to illegally download. But then they are also more likely to timeshift, watch catch-ups online, use other media and be less likely to stick with a show for 8 seasons. Which is are larger problems.

    Ten has shown more stuff straight from the US than any other network. Stott provides not one bit of evidence to support his self-serving theory.

    Channel 10 doesn’t have the audience or income of Seven or mad borrowing of someone already $3.8b in the hole with nothing to lose like Nine. They were outbid for @l^mp!cs, The Voice and NRL and in the process got squeezed out of the AFL as well.

    Channel 10 doesn’t have a news and Currents Affairs lead in to its evening programming either. They tried that, and it failed. They had success with the Project for a while but it has faded.

    The thing is with the TV market fragmented as it is now you either have the top show early the evening and dominate the night or you get crushed in the chase for viewers under 55. (The ABC chases a broader profile as it should as a public broadcaster).

    Ten had success stating New Girl/Homeland early in the season before 9 and 7 launched their lineups and with Masterchef. But apart from that Ten just hasn’t had the shows to compete.

  2. I think lack of fast-trakcing has the problem (for ten and other networks, but espiecally ten, due to their program slate) that they’re not getting big fans to watch the show. Big fans, the people who talk about the show to their firends, encoarage people to watch it, turn it into a “water-cooler” show, and are also the people who seek out the show through various time slot changes and distruptions, there fans want to be part of the internationalonline community, so watch the show online striaght after it airs, so the only viewers a network has, are the more causul viewers (or older, less tech-savy viewers)

  3. 10’s a Joke.You can’t blame the libraries/video stores for having to put your name on the waiting list for a certain show in box set form to come back or buying them fresh at any price via Kmart or Target.

    The Assorted Kids Shows I watch between 4 and 4:30pm on my day or two off work and the 5pm News Aside We don’t watch Ten in our home Not even the Project By that time We are a Simpsons/Neighbours house.I don’t know about the NCIS thing but It’s overdone.People want a feel good start to the week which is what we had in Good News Week and Cleveland Brown at one time and a feel good end which Seven with their comedy Sundays provides and is also family friendly please provide them with them asap.

  4. But then when the networks fast track US shows then theres the problem with the weird broadcast schedules that US tv has and then everyone here complains that the networks keep on stuffing everyone up so its a double edged sword…

    And also shows where u need to watch every single ep to make sense of it all (like Homeland from what i gather) shouldnt be fast tracked if the networks aren’t going to show it in full in one block.

  5. I am so over fast tracking. The lack of patience that people display is breathtaking….

    And by doing the wrong thing (and by downloading shows illegally, make no mistake they are doing the wrong thing) they are only cutting off their noses to spite their face.

    We are not the US and we shouldn’t allow ourselves to watch TV according to their schedule. Some things are worth the wait 🙂

  6. Re Glee season 4, I’ve already given up waiting for Ten. I was prepared to wait a week or two but Ten haven’t even announced when it’s airing, just a vague “October”. Sorry, too slow.

    I am lucky to have a US iTunes account so am happily already watching it, as well as at least one other of their programs they’re “rushing” to us in October.

  7. In regards to Glee, the issues with season 3 and its ratings were more related to the fact that the programming had far too many gaps in it – in the US (and subsequently in Australia), the show was programmed to be on for a couple of weeks, then disappeared for a few weeks when there were sporting events, back again for a week, gone again for another 2 weeks, etc etc. It eroded their viewing because it was simply not predictable and lost momentum.
    That however is no excuse as to why Ten should delay the 4th season. 2 episodes in and I’m still twiddling my thumbs here waiting for even a local airing date announcement. So much for fast tracking!

  8. Network ten and in particular channel ten are/is in need of a massive overhaul. they need to pick an age demographic and stick with it. Ten has always been a channel for the young adult/teenage viewers. with Lachlans approach to make it a major runner in the news he has lost sight of the viewers.

    Unless you have all the multi channels and are willing to spend time to track down those shows you love… there isn’t much to see. It’s either repeats of old shows, repeats of new shows, a reality talent show, a news/public affairs program or some sad excuse for an Australian drama.

    Why is it other countries by the rights to our shows and make there own versions, yet we rely on the us versions… why not have CSI: Sydney or an Australian version of the law and order franchise, they did a UK version. Why can’t we do an Australian version of shameless or Skins?…

    If the networks spent the money on good local content then we had have programming that would be better than anything any other country can produce…but all we do is the same crap, if something rates well on seven you can guarantee nine will rip it off, it nine does something well seven will rip it off, mean while ten tries to be different and manages to screw it up. Ten Late News with Sandra Sully, no other network does the late news because Ten had the market and what did they do?? they took Sandra away, the show failed, they brought her back, then axed the show, then brought it back refreshed with a new team, except Brad.. he got his job back. Ten is a disaster and I can’t wait for the telemovie, all though I hope nine does it, then it might have some credit..

  9. Trotting out the same old excuse Big Media always does these days: downloads. Blame your viewers. Oh, sure, having a bad line up of shows, horrible programming days and incredibly slack start and finish times have nothing to do with it *sarcasm* Viewer habits have changed. A week, a month is too long to wait in the global information age. Media companies need to change with the times.

  10. Woah, people are acting like he said it was Ten’s only problem. He just mentioned it as one factor that has hurt Ten because their demographic is traditionally younger and more savvy about downloading shows.

  11. He’s 100% right. As far as overseas shows go, they’re online a couple of hours after they’re aired. Waiting a week or a month or god forbid, longer… you’re going to have massive erosion of your audience.

    Having good local shows would help too, of course. But for US/UK content, it has to be shown when it’s aired overseas or there is no point showing it at all.

  12. While it’s good to see that a TV exec understands that fast-tracking will mitigate the drift of viewers toward other sources, and that Ten is more vulnerable because it has previously successfully targeted a younger demo, I don’t think Ten is in the trouble it is in now because it’s audience have started torrenting.

    As well as commissioning some absolutely cheap and nasty television, there have also been some bizarre decisions over the last few months. I don’t want to list them all here because we are all aware of them by now (ok, just one because it still irks me – what the hell were they thinking axing Sandra Sully from the Late News?) but these decisions have individually directly led to lower ratings, and collectively damaged Ten’s overall brand.

    When I think of Ten these days, Paul Henry and Lara Bingle force their way into my consciousness, and I am always reminded of The Shite. It’s why I haven’t gotten around to watching Puberty Blues despite all the positive reviews and believing that I would prob enjoy it.

    Ren makes a salient point about not having a major sport or other event TV to hang their schedule on. Ten needs to buy some AFL and/or NRL matches for 2013.

  13. Mark Scott has jumped on one new thing that they tried this year which Foxtel and Ten had been doing for ages (the whole Dr Who premiere on Iview).

    I reckon Scott struggles to fill his day with things to do and is enjoying finding something to say about another channel’s miss fortunes. Let’s be clear, ABC are not trailblazers!

  14. I call BS on blaming downloading for Ten’s woes as the other networks treat viewers in a similar fashion. Ten simply hasn’t had a strong and compelling line up and its been effecting every show on the network. Puberty Blues would be doing much better numbers on 7.

    That’s not to say fast tracking is a bad thing. Just that it won’t fix a bad line up.

    I also hate to say it, but they don’t have a strong event tv reality franchise(or sport) to create a “halo effect” around their programming. Masterchef doing ok but has been overtaken by others like MKR, X-factor, The Voice, The Block and Big Brother.

  15. Load of frogpoop.

    Ten’s troubles are solely the result of management decisions and nothing to do with viewer’s habits. If management screens crap, no matter how ‘fast’ it’s screened or how much Ten lathers on the hype, the viewers will depart in droves.

    Programming is not rocket science.

  16. The main problem I see Ten probably running into, is the fact that delaying some program premieres from the US, could potentially risk audience erosion, not to mention some people “seriously” looking at downloading episodes of programs like, Glee if the delay stretches longer.

    The ABC has set a precedent with Dr Who on iView before broadcast: and if I were Ten, I’d look to that example, and offer all your US content that is being fast tracked in October, online first, before it airs on Ten. That really would be “taking a fresh look” at Ten, and could set another precedent.

  17. That is just Stott joining Foxtel in attacking their competition. Channel 10 can’t show episodes of US shows in August that don’t exist till October.

    Before the end of Masterchef Channel 10 was doing OK. They got into trouble because they had showed all their US episodes by the end of May. (Apart from 4 episodes of NCIS, a show that is hardly dependent on young viewers not downloading to get ratings.)

    Young Talent Time, EDN, IWS, Don’t Tell The Bride, Can of Worms, The Project and Modern Family rpts have been Channel 10’s main disappointments. And PB has only delivered modest figures.

    Only 180,000 downloaded Dr Who after it was heavily promoted in Australia. Only some of those would have bothered to downloaded them illegally or faked a UK IP address to get in to the BBC’s catch up service to watch the show a week earlier. And even less for the second and later episode.

    Channel showed Glee days after it aired in the US. It rated very well for 2 seasons but during the 3rd the younger viewers got bored with it and left promoting Channel 10 to moved it to Fridays which failed and then to Thurdays where it did a bit better. Again not a problem with delaying screenings.

  18. I’ll admit except Supernatural I didn’t care about Ten fast tracking its shows. All I wanted from them was a reliable day and not too late i.e. if it is supposed to start at 8.30pm then it starts before 8.35pm.

    Unfortunately it went over the top with reality. Plus moved the shows I watched to different days so I couldn’t watch them. Including briefly Supernatural on Sunday (years ago however). I was too hooked on the ABC at the time to give it up.

    For instance I just wanted Medium to show up on a Thursday. They moved it to Friday. I couldn’t watch it. Plus so much more. Also while they were getting excellent numbers for reality shows. They made them end very late and the audience went away for the other shows.

    Mainly this year they chose shows I’m not either comfortable with or I’m not interested in. The only exception being the Julian Assange story. I’m fine with them ignoring me if they want. As I’ll admit there are interesting stuff with Eleven. Plus it mainly has been good with its timekeeping. But silly timeslots have occasionally crept in unfortunately. Although good news is Star Trek: Voyager is back on Saturday as that was also a low point when it went away.

    I’ll admit I not a teenager. But most shows I’m not obsessed about. So don’t need fast tracking. Doctor Who is one of the few exceptions however. Although it’s weird that these days Boxing Day is the fastest. I’m glad as Christmas was the slowest to show up. And that was a major problem as I often go to the British (Doctor Who ) websites.

    To sum up I just want some good shows to be treated decently including sensible timeslots. Reliable days. Plus could they go back to their old watermark. It’s less annoying. I wish them well however. Including with Homeland.

  19. Finally they are getting it! Mark Scott is right while in total numbers there won’t be many downloading shows illegally it all ads up, if it’s downloaded by one person then it’s likely that copy will be watched by many and if a show is on the cusp with ratings taking a few 1000’s off is going to hurt.

    TEN screwed up with NCIS, delaying the season final so long, some went out and just bought the DVD. No ads, no waiting! I just hope this means a flood of fast racked shows from TEN (and the others) in the next few months.

    I love the fact I can watch the new Doctor Who season legally Sunday mornings just after the UK release. Then I re-watch it on ABC in prep for the next one Sunday morning.

  20. Ain’t that the truth. Ten need a boss like Mark Scott who knows what he’s doing. Just look at NCIS. Once a ratings juggernaut in Australia. Ten is only now airing episodes that originally aired in the US in April. The audience is half of what it used to be.

    Glee is now 2 eps in. White Collar is now season 4 episode 10, Hawaii Five-0 finished in April, Ten is only now finishing it. Ten need to smarten up.

    Not only Ten though. Criminal Minds’ new season starts in a few days, Seven is barely half way through the last season cos they waited so long. And the ratings are down for it too.

    Watched Survivor last night, how far behind is Nine going to be when they eventually decide to show it? You can’t afford to not fast-track especially reality shows like Survivor. I read US tv sites. Majority of people use the internet. It’s impossible not to get spoilers.

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