Breakfast shows running overtime in ratings war

2013-09-15_0213Sunrise and Today are both running their shows overtime in the latest strategy to win the ratings war.

Sunrise has been running past 9am for some time now, pushing back The Morning Show from its scheduled start, a tactic that has now been matched by Nine’s Today show.

It’s one thing to do so when there is breaking news, but it’s now a daily habit, for no apparent reason.

“We’re being competitive and there is no law against strategy. If finishing a bit later is such a bad thing, why is Today copying us?” Sunrise Producer Michael Pell tells News Corp.

Today producer Neil Breen has also suggested Seven is up to ‘dirty tricks’ by having no ad breaks between 7 – 7:30am.

“(Sunrise) fiddles around with the show itself, particularly the ad breaks which is a commercial decision they have to make,” he said.

“I don’t know what advertisers would say about it but they’re not running any ad breaks at all between 7am and 7.30. It’s a fact.”

But Pell defended, “We’re not breaking any rules by moving ad breaks around.”

True enough. In fact primetime shows on both networks also manipulate ad breaks for their own benefit.

Sunrise recently clocked Today with 99,000 extra viewers. No wonder they’ve come out fighting.

If they could kindly adjust their EPGs and promos to reflect new starting times forĀ The Morning Show andĀ Mornings then they can finish at whatever time they like. But let’s also get back to some honesty with their loyal viewers, otherwise they deserve to see them sample new competition.

Readers are invited to log this week’s times in Comments and the Late List.


  1. I love Sunrise! The Today Show is so boring and I hate the hosts. I don’t like Karl or Lisa, and when the show has Sonia Kurger on I feel like throwing up. Its not like she isn’t everywhere already. Sunrise has better reporters and news that’s more relevant and interesting compared to Today

  2. @mistaken – Pell doesn’t sound snarky. He sounds on the money to me. Nine does copy. He tells it like it is.

    @pm1989 – Yeah, that was my impression of the whole thing. Neil comes across sort of desperate. The politics of all this aside, I am really enjoying Sunrise at the moment. I used to watch Today but since Sam has started I have made the switch to Seven and haven’t looked back. Great vibe.

  3. Pell’s attitude really does require an overhaul. Every time he’s quoted in the media it comes across as snarky. Perhaps think of viewers just once. Looking forward to see what Ten has to offer.

  4. I usually tune into Sunrise at about 7.40 am and have commented to people that there seems to be more ads on. To me it looks like they are catching up after 7.30am. If Today had the guts to get rid of Karl, I am sure they would get a lift in ratings. He is a good journo but not a good comedian. Love Lisa and the girls but the blokes let the show down.

  5. I’m guessing there’s not too many people watching at 9am anyway. Is it such a big deal? The majority of viewers have left for work by then, or are in the car about to go shopping.

  6. The last thing viewers would be watching Sunrise for in Qld & NSW is AFL.
    I watch Today because they remember that there are viewers in Brisbane not just Syd & Melb.
    That is where Ten is going to fail with it’s Syd beach & Melb Fed Sq views.
    Not everything happens in those 2 cities Ten.

  7. They so annoy me..I’m now switching over to channel 2 AT 9 O’clock..I can’t bear seeing Kochie and Sam and the perpetually grinning Beretts outside in the Mall after 9 chatting about meaningless topics that they couldn’t even care less about.It’s a total waste of 15 minutes till Larry and Kylis come on air.

  8. @ MM – “see that they are having a million dollar Hot seat next week”. Hot Seat has always had $1million as top prize.
    @dwuuuu – Don’t think many north of the Murrray watch Sunrise for AFL. A reason to switch off.
    Memo to Pell – Think of people who may want to watch The Morning Show, the advertorials/cross-promotions show that’s advertised for 9am.

  9. Over on Ten, the opposite happens with Bold repeats often on early, starting around 8:55am instead of 9am.

    This continues into later programs too – one day recently Huey’s Kitchen started about 8 minutes early!

  10. Typical 9 to copy other peoples ideas, see that they are having a million dollar Hot seat next week because 7 are starting a new million dollar show this, how petty is channel 9. gone are the days where they were a good channel, really don’t have time for them any more.

  11. Love the ABC for. Quick bite of news. Can’t stand hours and hours of the same thing even when I could on weekends I don’t! Good luck to them. It just shows disrespect for viewers that want to watch the 9am shows!

  12. I don’t like the running over time (not a big deal but just don’t like it). But moving around the ad breaks… What’s wrong with that? That sounds like Neil is clutching at straws there to be honest.

  13. I really found the 8.58 ad break on nine followed by “welcome back to today, goodbye” quite frustrating. Though I’m sure there’s nothing value added with the overrun anyway, I find I switch off after about 8.30 nowadays

  14. Yeah, I noticed a couple of weeks ago, Today started having another news headlines at 9 instead of going straight into Mornings after the Hollywood Gossip segment.

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