Nine has confirmed it will stick with a one hour news format.
News Corp reports the extended bulletins will be permanent with A Current Affair to shift to 7pm and reality juggernauts The Block, The Voice and Big Brother to 7:30pm.
Nine had big success with the extended bulletins on Monday with convincing wins in Sydney and Melbourne over Seven News.
In Brisbane Nine had slight wins over Seven, while Adelaide and Perth remain Seven strong-holds.
Nine strategically coded its one-hour news into two thirty minute programmes with OzTAM -a ploy that pushed Seven News into third place, and one that is likely to cause heated debate. The numbers indicated Nine News in Melbourne actually rose in the second half hour, bucking the trend of all other cities. Whether that was a one-off or not is unclear.
Even TEN won’t be happy with the move given it will impact on The Project. But at the risk of moving The Project yet again, there is a golden opportunity for TEN to restore its Reality shows to 7pm and create a major point of difference. It could well be the way forward for the ailing network. What happens to that unnamed “6pm family entertainment show” is another dilemma but given it’s untested, the benefits arguably outweigh it.
Having the extended News for Nine will help it address its post-8:30 schedule where it had been lacking compelling content too often. Shows like The Block and The Voice can now be pushed out to 9 and 9:30pm, which helps lift overall network share.
But it also means The Block will go head to head with My Kitchen Rules, instead of enjoying the 30 minute head start. Good luck with that….
Should Seven now match Nine is the question on everybody’s lips? Short of boldly moving Home and Away to 5:30 it seems the only solution is to stick with convention, or possibly merge Today Tonight into Seven News as it had done last summer.
But first OzTAM needs to address coding issues with the brazen 30 minute Nine News segments creating inequity.
In 2011 CEO Doug Peiffer told TV Tonight that OzTAM was concerned over such coding issues because there’s no consistency.
“I don’t think we want to start chopping the News down into quarter half hours,” he said.
“It’s just about getting all the providers of programme names to be sensible.
“People are raising it, media buyers, people inside Programming, and the ones who are really raising it are the users –the ones who run the software who try to come up with a sensible average for a programme, and they’re the ones who seem to be doing the hard leg-work trying to put it back together.
“So we’ll discuss it and see if we can come with an industry agreement on it.”
Over to you, OzTAM.