ABC has the oldest TV viewers and TEN the youngest according to data presented earlier this month at the Screen Forever conference.
The average age of ABC viewers is 66 according to OzTAM data presented by TEN execs at a “Meet the Buyer” pitching session. The average age of TEN viewers is 20 years younger, the figures reveal.
TEN’s Head of Drama Rick Maier said, “(Former Programmer) David Mott told a story once that when we were the ’16 to 39 network’ and broadcasting The Simpsons someone came in for a pitch and gave him a skateboard.
“He said, ‘Jesus we’re in terrible trouble here’, because that’s the young end of 16 to 39.
Separate data from Nine supplied to TV Tonight indicated the average age of their viewers was 50 for Nine, 31 for GO!, 55 for GEM and 45 for 9Life, based on the calendar year.
Advertisers focus on OzTAM’s key demos 16-39, 18-49 and 25-54 year old viewers, leaving the average age of public broadcaster audiences outside all three.
“If you’re pitching to the ABC you better be aware of who might be on the other end of it,” Maier suggested. “Dr. Blake or Miss Fisher are terrific commissions for the ABC but would they work on TEN? Not a hope in hell.
“Grant Blackley who was the CEO at 10 had a wonderful expression: ‘You’ve got to fish where the fish are.’ If you’re buying programmes to broadcast, you’ve got to think where are your delivery platforms?What shows are going to actually promote these?
Maier said The Wrong Girl was commissioned knowing that The Bachelorette was going to be in front of it.
“It’s an important thing to bear in mind as program makers when pitching a show to a network. What’s the lead-in going to be? Where are my promos going to sit?” he said.