Warburton looks to Olympics for Seven refresh

New Seven CEO James Warburton who, who is less than one week into his new role, has already signalled the Tokyo Olympics next July as when viewers can expect to see a new-look Seven.

“I’m absolutely salivating around the prospect of relaunching the network in July of next year with the entire nation watching us,” he tells Mediaweek.

“When you talk about wrestling back the momentum, we have to work hard to be in a position to really launch out of the Olympics. Whether you have a view on the Olympics, or the cost, I’ll tell you right now, I’m absolutely delighted. I’m a big believer in Sport.”

He indicated Seven’s Sunday to Tuesday 7.30pm slot (most of which is sucked up by My Kitchen Rules & House Rules) as being an issue.

“Look across the rest of the schedule, and the fact that we have 52 weeks of sport between the AFL and the cricket, we have an incredible base,” he continued.

“I go back to my good friend David Leckie‘s comments about bricks in the wall, we’ve got a pretty solid foundation. Then what we need to do, is we need to get back to creating, executing and launching original formats, something we were the best at that.

“We’ve been outplayed a little bit, but there have been budget cuts because of sport, probably in areas that shouldn’t have been cut.”

Warburton added, “We’ve got a bit old in some timeslots, so for us it’s actually about looking specifically at every slot and every opportunity so for us. We are older than 10, and you’ve got to be careful about going too young, but there are some areas of the schedule that need to freshen up that’s for sure.”

You can read more here.


  1. Please get the tennis and the Melbourne Cup Carnival back. I didn’t watch much of the tennis as I hardly watch 9. They are not a natural with sport, they try too hard. On 7, sport comes naturally to them as they are the home of sport!

  2. Armchair Analyst

    Seven need a SVOD service with content people want to watch. My opinion is that quality drama or non reality/sport/lifestyle shows are better suited now to SVOD not FTA tv, Netflix and STAN and Foxtel have shown. Seven whilst they have invested time and money in BVOD which is fine for people who want flexibility in watching FTA content on mobile devices, they desperately need and should have created a SVOD service because of a desperate need to diversify revenue streams. its going to be a tough job for James, I both don’t and do envy him.

  3. jezza the first original one

    The relaunch of a whole network simply highlights a failure of evolution at a time of rapid and substantial change….massive fail

  4. thedirtydigger

    Well it appears the ambitious Mr Warburton has looked in the Development cupboard and found it was bare…
    Really this looks like a bit of a cop out. Buying time.
    If a week is a long time in politics then one year is a century in media.
    Really James ? Is that the best you could come up with ?
    Great idea getting rid of the tennis by the way, how many numbskulls did it take to make that decision…Not on your watch of course but surely you could offer a re-launch earlier than mid 2020. .

  5. 7 are waiting until the Tokyo Olympics to relaunch? Mr Warburton is aware another American media giant is about to launch their streaming service here in Australia right? Hello, Disney+ here we come. My advice to Mr. Warburton? Write off the remainder of the year and get crackin’ with something fresh beginning January 1, 2020.

  6. timmydownawell

    Seven’s last refresh coincided with the Sydney Olympics in 2000. But really it’s Nine who has the most dated brand. Their last “refresh” was a disaster. All they did was drop the dots… when they should have re-worked the dots and dumped the calculator-inspired 9, which is the element that makes it look so dated. Not long later they dumped the rebranding by reinstating the dots so it was all a complete waste of time.

  7. David, looks like Seven play-out properly commenced at the new NPC in Sydney today. Brand new watermarks for 7Two and 7mate (they look like a return to pre-2015 ones) , including brand new graphics returning from each ad break. Looks like this flagged ‘refresh’ already starting.

  8. Too little, too late, James. The network sacrificed quality drama and entertainment to overpay for sports rights. We’ve all moved on and balk at having you guys dictate our viewing schedules these days. You’ll have to come up with something special to get me back.

  9. About 98% of their revenue is coming from ad dollars.
    They need to think of ways to find subscribers for content. Nine are killing it with Stan. Nine have paywalled news sites and listings (Domain.)
    News Corp essentially the same (Paywalled publishers, foxtel/Kayo, REA).
    FetchTV would be an ideal target for 7 to secure the networks future away from the weak winds of ad revenue, if they have any money left to do it.

  10. Aren’t Olympic games always a relaunch and refresh for a network?. There’s nothing new in that. I dare channel 7 to blow us away with something fresh. Not the same old formats .FTA has become so stagnant.

  11. All well and good to relaunch this time next year, but they’ll need to try and stem some of the bleeding for the early part of next year. Given their age, it would be very unlikely MKR and House Rules figures will suddenly rebound next year.

  12. I’d like to see what their refresh plan will be. I rarely watch FTA, more specifically 7/9/10 because of reality being their prominent programming decision, poor treatment of drama, and poor scheduling (or rescheduling) of shows which failed to launch. You can’t expect a show to have hit rating when it’s launched at 8.53pm or 9.42pm.

    • Agree with Bogues about shareholders having to hold their breath for 11 months. As much as a post-Olympics programming strategy is important, so is a pre-Olympics slate. Of the three new dramas Seven have promised for 2019, I predict “Secret Bridesmaids Business” will be the only one to launch this year. The other two will undergo a heavy promotional exercise next year. Seven also need to abstain from duplicate shows of the same genre, namely the dating genus.

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