TEN’s brand, seriously in the spotlight.

stenA war of words has broken out between Network TEN and its former sales chief Mike Morrison after Morrison said TEN had lost the faith of the public.

Morrison told Mumbrella: “There has been a shift in the TV industry in Australia, and now we see Seven and Nine with a duopoly position in the market.

“There came a point where the Australian public no longer trusted TEN, and TEN is now competing with subscription TV channels.

“TEN’s relationship with the Australian public has fundamentally shifted,” he added.

His words come in a week when 7:30pm shows MasterChef sank to 411,000 and Glee was just 269,000.

But a TEN spokesperson hit back, saying: “Obviously, the views and opinions of a former TEN employee are not objective or up to date. It’s worth noting that Mike Morrison was only at Network TEN for five months, and he has not worked here for more than eight months.

“We don’t know the context in which Mike Morrison made his comments. But to say TEN has “lost the trust of the Australian public” is absolute nonsense.

“Yes, TEN had some unsuccessful programs last year. But we also had many successful programs, such as Offspring, Modern Family, Homeland, The Biggest Loser, MasterChef Australia, Ten News At Five, The Project, Bikie Wars: Brothers In Arms and so on. Already this year we are seeing good results, particularly in our core target market of people 18 to 49, from programs such as Elementary, Africa, NCIS and the Sunday episodes of MasterChef: The Professionals – and the year has only just started.”

But in an unrelated article yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported:

Trust is a powerful thing in television. It can make or break a network. And it can make or break a show.

It may also be the reason that 1.13 million people watched The Last Resort, which has already been axed in the US, and only 792,000 watched Mr and Mrs Murder, which is an original Australian drama.

The difference is that the former is on the Seven Network, whose schedule is enjoying the halo effect of My Kitchen Rules, and the latter is on TEN which is struggling to recover from its worst ratings performance in memory.

In the TV Tonight Awards readers sent some clear messages to the network by slamming the network for mis-management and programming decisions, but still holding the faith for key shows and personalities such as Offspring, The Project, Homeland and The Living Room.

Current ratings show the audience is still sending the network clear messages.

Moves such as the hiring of Paul Henry and Andrew Bolt were departures from the traditional TEN audience. Attempting to re-structure the network with its George Negus-led News and send the youth audience to ELEVEN was a misfire. The axing of The Circle was not easily forgotten while programming flops The Shire, I Will Survive and Everybody Dance Now hit rock bottom.

You don’t need to be a former sales chief to know that TEN’s brand has been in freefall and that spin doctors are earning their keep to stop the shares (both network and financial) from tumbling any further.

Against My Kitchen Rules TEN will languish. After Easter Offspring and The Biggest Loser will return. But then there’s another show called The Voice to contend with.


  1. I often see comments on this site that people didn’t know a show had started showing new eps on One / Ten / Eleven until the ratings are published the following day, if avid tv fans can’t keep up with Ten then what hope does the average viewer have?

    While I scour the TV guide to find what I want to watch and set the PVR for most shows unless there’s a clash, it seems I’m in the minority. Most people still seem to sit down at the end of the day and ask “what is there to watch now?” moreso than finding out “when is x program on?”. Talk of lead-ins / halo effects etc. are still as prevalent as they ever were despite the ease of PVRs / online content etc. While we aren’t bound to a network’s schedule any more, most of us for whatever choose to be bound anyway (e.g. look at the tiny increases in the +7s).

    If viewing habits are slow to change and Ten have very few programs getting respectable viewing figures with no key sport drawcards that don’t demand network loyalty, then it’ll be very hard to turn their situation around.

  2. Example of Ten not thinking of the public. Today we have our olympians admitting using stilnox! All networks are showing it live bar Network Ten!!

  3. Personally I prefer it when networks have first run programing like Homeland on during the non ratings period. Much better then holding it for months for the few that can’t get to a TV because they are on holidays. Here’s an idea, ask someone to record it for you while you’re away.

    I don’t think TEN is broken, I still watch it, probably more than the others.

  4. OMG! by the sounds of these comments you would think that the fat lady will be coming out to sing her final tune. ( not disrespect Gina)
    Fact guys
    TEN stuffed up, get over it. we all make mistakes.
    Who cares if they are inclined right or lift wing in polictics, Kerry at 9 was very right wing and proud of it.
    Do we really want to see 7&9 duopoly like coles and wollies in tv land.
    OZ TAM do really think it is a true reflection of what people watch. 3800 Meters or how ever many are out there really a true figure of what people watch.(yeah right)
    TEN don’t have the cash pure and simple so it will always struggle.
    it is business the stronger get sronger and the weak fall

  5. Why does failing at breakfast stop people watching Glee? Especially when they stopped watching Glee before Ten even tried to compete in the breakfast market?

    Failing at Breakfast doesn’t seem to have stopped people watching Channel 10 on Sundays, only when MKR is on.

    People watched Last Resort because it was on after MKR in a staggered timeslot, is a big budget US action series and is very well made. The premise is silly but they have a lot of fun with it and it was highly entertaining.

    The worrying thing is that The Blindside beat Mr & Mrs Murder. But we shall see the exact figures next Wednesday when the timeshifting data is up.

  6. Ten’s major problem remains that younger viewers now have a lot of options about what they watch and how they watch and their rivals are aggressively targeting them too. Ten know the problem and have tried several solutions without success.

    Ten are doing OK on Sundays at the moment. But with Seven, Nine, Go!, Eleven, ABC2 and now SBS2 targeting them from onside and ABC1 the other they are getting slammed during the week.

    There may not be enough advertising revenue to support 3 commercial FTA networks running 11 channels anymore when they have to compete with two publicly funded broadcasters, pay TV and the internet.

    If it wasn’t for Nine’s strong news and current affairs providing a base and lead into the struggling Block they wouldn’t be doing much better than Channel 10. TBBT is the only show that is delivering good ratings and demographics for them at the moment.

  7. All they have to do is bring Prisoner back at 8.30pm a couple of times a week from the beginning and that will fix everything.

    If the early years could consistently reach the top 20 shows on Foxtel, sometimes even top 10, out of all the 100’s of shows on Foxtel and a spinoff now in the works, then surely it must have enough of a following to be brought back to primetime on the network that created it.

    Surely it can’t do any worse than The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0 and Glee.

  8. No one likes to wish anybody any ill will, but after the anti government attitudes creeping into several shows on Ten, and especially after what was aired and condoned by the Ten network on The Project last night and most nights this week.

    With all my care and consideration for the Fair Honest and Consistent Presenters and EP’s I wish the best, as Ten drives so many more of us away “For Ever”

    But to the rest of those trying to engineer a change of government using their access to what few viewers, as Ten sinks further into the right wing mire, with outright biased reporting,(and or not being reported), and lets not forget The Bolt Report with all his bitterness is again about start with all its right wing vitriol, be careful Ten because you may be remembered for giving us a government, that is about to target all of us low income earners and pensioners, restricted to only FTA TV.

  9. @JB – exactly. Ten can try and spin it any way they want but if the continue to drink that Kool-aid, there’s only going to be one result.

    The first step towards fixing a problem is to admit that you’ve got one.

  10. Instead of flirting with ABC most days as to who comes 4th, can’t be long before it will be a daily flirt with SBS as to who comes 5th?

    Is very sad to TEN bomb so much. The Australian TV industry needs a strong 3rd commercial network to keep Nine and Seven honest.

    Seriously, TEN has to stop this obsession of chasing the already over-crowded youth audience. And now with SBS2 relaunching into that same space, TEN will need to find something different again. To solely stay in this youth audience mindset is not going to work. IPTV will also further push into into that same space soon as well. The current youth audience did not grow up in the old analogue world of only 4 to 5 channels to watch, times have changed bigtime!

    Is time for TEN to get a new logo, image, and rethink of its multi-channel strategy. Time to stop looking like the Bi-Lo equivalent of the commercial networks. At the moment, it is tanking, and will continue to do so until it goes off the air.

    • Actually all 3 networks program new content outside the ratings period. And in regards to Homeland playing through December… people scream when shows are put on hold for summer…. now they scream when they keep them?

  11. Can’t trust TEN with a thing anymore. Its the truth. They don’t listen to anything we say and whoever is the programmer at TEN right now need to have a long hard look at themselves. Who in their right minds schedules New programing like Homeland, Masterchef and others outside the ratings period? TEN did that last year and have done it for years now and its biting them big time. TEN have a bare schedule and that is because they have let it wane. Yet TEN have the best output deal from the US, CBS for dramas and FOX for comedies, yet somehow they don’t translate here. So imo its the network that is now the issue. TEN will soon become the 4th watched network on Aus TV behind ABC and right now its a big possibility.

  12. He’s absolutely spot on. I don’t trust Ten anymore and their whole brand absolutely stinks. What i don’t understand is why Ten didn’t just listen to us! When Paul Henry was rumoured to be host of Breakfast, the overwhelming disgust shown by people surely should have decided against that decision. How many people said they wouldn’t watch with Henry as host? And then look at how many people watched Breakfast.
    When shows like Bingle, Everybody Dance Now, The Shire were announced, majority saw a dud straight away. Why couldn’t Ten see this?

    And their treatment of it’s biggest shows has ended up killing them. TAYG was a monster hit…then Ten gave it a new day and new timeslot every 6 months and it’s ratings quickly bombed out. NCIS has gone from #1 US show to can’t even scrap 1 million viewers. Ten destroyed the Masterchef brand that was the one thing they thought they could rely on.

    The sad thing with this is Ten has a great list of shows, but no one wants to watch them on Ten now cos the network is so tarnished. And Ten makes great Aussie drama like Offspring, Puberty Blues, Mr & Mrs Murder, Rush but being on Ten these shows are the big losers because they are quality shows but just don’t get an audience.

  13. 10 are a disaster, I have heard that The Living Room is moving to 8.30 Friday, it’s listed at 9.35 tonight. A great show they are trying to kill.

    Idol should be on Monday and Tuesday at 7.30 and Mr and Mrs Murder should start after MKR at 8.45. They will never take the audience from that show in the short term and shouldn’t kill good shows trying.

    MCP sunday night only.

    10 just makes me cranky these days and I’m in their target demo.

  14. I don’t know about others but i don’t really care which station i watch.

    To me i watch what i like regardless of the station ….

    If you have a good programme i will watch maybe this is why channel 9 and 7 rate so well even though most of their programmes are reality shows???

    It seems a rather petty argument to say ….the public isn’t watching because its on 10?

  15. The TEN “spokesperson” who said “…to say TEN has “lost the trust of the Australian public” is absolute nonsense.” needs a reality check, and is indicative of TEN’s problems.
    As the SMH said, “Ten is a Last Resort for viewers”.

  16. Well it’s lost the trust of the rest of the media industry, that’s for sure!

    I’m also surprised they didn’t have a form media release to trot out about this, like they did when they have lay offs.

  17. Programmes aside Ten have stuck with this “Seriously” tagline for a very long time – and it wasn’t that great to begin with. Same with Seven and “Gottaloveit”.

  18. jezza the first original one

    The trouble with ch10 is that the lower end of their target demo are not a ‘traditional’ audience. They will watch what they want, when they want, especially imported shows which as we know, can be viewed by other means. Glee is a case in point, it got stuffed around the schedule and now its fans/followers do not bother to watch it on fta tv, simple. The other chunk of their target demo has lost some confidence in ch10 due to awful programming decisions which started with the MC/Renovators debacle and continued for the following 12 months. They are still trying to recover from that period.

    This ex sales bloke makes some valid points, he probably took the job on thinking he could make a name for himself, started working there and then realised the whole place is a basket case and thought ‘stuff this, I’m outta here’. Ch10 should come out of denial and take on board his comments and even ask his views on what it would take to get them back in the top 3.

  19. It seems the ‘powers that be’ at Ten are either sticking their heads in the sand and denying what is happening or just don’t know how to deal with it. When will the owners wake up and work it out ?

  20. The public can’t stand Ten anymore!! They don;t listen to us anymore! The worst thing would be their programming! Man it sucks major and no sign of getting better anytime soon. We have shows like glee and hawaii 5 0 that didn’t perform last yr and are back in the same spots rather than shifting them to 11 and one. We have great shows that did perform like bondi vet moved to saturdays, we’ve had the living room pushed to 8.30, Wasted attenborough on sats when it should be movie night and soo much more to even write down!!

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