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 for The Morning Show and 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.