51 Comments:

  1. I agree the networks have only themselves to blame – I just wish they’d learn from it. When programs started being advertised with an 8.40 start time instead of 8.30 and were then pushed out from there to any random tick of the clock it really signalled the end of an era.

    I’m rewatching Blue Heelers on Amazon Prime and as well as reintroducing me to quality Australian writing and characters it just reminds me of what our TV networks used to look like; drama series running for more than 10 episodes a season, related programs to watch after, proper credits!

    Fair enough times have changed, but the networks have ultimately shot themselves in the foot by falling over each other to extend reality shows and cut into the competition. Our FTA landscape is a mess because of it (and already was long before streaming converted eyeballs) and it’s going to take a real step change to kick it…

  2. As said, shows need to start right on time. On school/work nights, if a show finishes past 9.30, we won’t start watching at all.

    Last night, recorded TARA to watch today, and played cards with the family instead. Love the rise of board and card games, and we are currently using that time to de-stress the HSC student.

  3. About five years ago I remember thinking “why would I pay for television”. Now I’ve been driven away by lack of choice on FTA. For those who enjoy reality tv it’s a feast, but for the rest of us it’s a wasteland. I watch a lot of ABC and SBS but rarely find anything engaging on commercial networks. As a result I see few TV commercials. No wonder the mainstream media is finding times are tough.

  4. Although I live in NZ now, FTA is the same as it is for you guys. I find it incredibly boring and haven’t even bothered to connect my tv to the antenna. I have unlimited broadband so can watch TVNZ and ThreeNow on demand but the only things I watch live are breakfast programme on TV1 and the 6pm news. I have Netflix and Lightbox (NZ streaming service) which gives me plenty of choice and I can watch when it’s convenient for me.

  5. I’m not bored.Still watch drama at that time but not on FTA. I’ve just been conditioned to expect anything scheduled for 8.30pm not to start on time so I just don’t bother anymore. The commercial networks did this to themselves by treating viewers with contempt.

    • That’s a good point. My partner and I usually find something to watch at 7:30 while we eat and clean up. It’s generally a reality show as they don’t require a lot of ‘brain usage’, so we can chat and catch up on our days. They usually finish around 8:45 ish and she then heads off to bed, so I switch over to Netflix, Foxtel or put in a DVD.

      Monday is the only night I stay with FTA TV as I enjoy HYBPA, but the rest of the week I have no idea what’s on from 8:30/ 9:00 these days and a big part of that is as you say, you just don’t know for sure when something is going to start. 7:30 is generally between 7:30 and 7:35, but the 8:30/ 9:00 starting time is just a lottery these days!

  6. When House of Wellness (a.k.a. The Chemist Warehouse advertorial) is airing in primetime, I think it is fair to say viewers are bored after 8.30pm, and rightly so when branded content is the offering on the most-watched network

  7. Aussie TV isn’t fun anymore. As other’s have mentioned it’s rehash after rehash. There’s a reason Have you been paying attention won its timeslot on Monday and it’s because the show is laidback fun. Aussies gravitate towards authentic programming and reality TV has more script paper than a phonebook. Networks need also good dramas like Dr. Blake balanced with good cheap comedies like Rove and Thank God You’re Here, and some more gritty stuff, audiences love crime and dark comedy too. Just anything with a semblance of risk and personality. I’m actually looking forward to Mates on a Mission next year purely for Brian Taylor. More sport/athletics would be good too, Australian Ninja Warrior was a blast!

  8. Australian TV is a sad sack. Everything is a copy of something else. it’s law and order this is CSI that. or it’s a bunch of attention grabbing singles looking for fame… I mean love.

    Gone are the days of great Aussie dramas 2 or 3 nights a week, now it’s reality TV because it’s cheaper or it’s the newest show in the US.

    I have watched 2 TV shows this year. House Rules (first and last time, I could barely stand Joh but I absolutely can’t stand Durie). and the Masked Singer which once I knew who the singers where it wasn’t as fun. Nothing else has grabbed my attention and I often spend my nights watching Netflix, Youtube or Tik Tok.

    • You are the first person I know to use Google Play….how do you find it?
      Also, curious if you dont mind…do you have a android phone?
      I am starting to think about moving away from Apple hence my questions 🙂

      • Google Play is really good, my partner has used it to purchase all the Marvel films, and selected TV series, and I used it to purchase a few things. We mainly watch it on the two smart TVs, or Chromecast on an older TV. They tend to have specials on box sets and older content. New content is added frequently, I use the app ‘JustWatch’ to tell me what’s new on streaming services. We both iPhones, and I have an Android tablet, and we’ve had no issues with the app on iPhone.

  9. I watched an old ep of Poirot on 9Gem, great one too, if you love an Agatha Christie murder mystery. Seems viewers (probably oldies though) can’t get enough of the UK murder mysteries, regularly in Top 20 multi-channels 7Two and 9Gem.

    David’s feature ratings article today is also true though, viewers seem to be flocking to multi-channels/channel surfing, probably attributed to not being satisfied with main channel.

    • I too love the Agatha Christie murder mysteries with Poirot. But because the ad breaks are so many and so long, I record these programs and watch the following night and zip through the ads.

    • The Miss Marple adaptations from the early naughties starring the late great Geraldine McEwan are still the best cozies ever made for TV. No matter how many times they are repeated on the digital channels, I still feel compelled to watch them. I find modern crime mysteries (Australian or overseas) to be incredibly dull and humourless.

  10. I enjoyed the amazing race but there was literally nothing of interest afterwards so I switched over to Netflix and watched the new Meryl Streep movie. I enjoyed it, although it was hard to follow the ‘story’.

    • Was that “The Laundromat”? My daughter, who works for ASIC, loves it. You would have to been following this in the news a few years ago to 100% get it but it is a real expose of banks, insurance companies and their offshore scamming at he cost to the little people. Recall one of our ex-PMs was quizzed in Parliament about his Cayman Islands connection.

  11. Networks have built their own competition. After TARA we channel surfed. Not at all keen on seeing mother #156 giving birth. SBS has been showing us that for years. 7 was starting the last half-hour of their 7:30 show, 9 was about to start their nightly soft-porn show, SBS had a topic I wanted to avoid…then…7TWO is just starting “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, which I hadn’t seen for years. So…leave the “main” channels, then to ABC News (24) for a late news wrap.

  12. Yip I agree with a number of comments stating the issue is that 8:30 means anything from 8:40 to 9:15 on wards. You can add the forever chopping and changing of starting times and days for some programs and I just lose interest.

    Also, the reality shows may attract numbers but it also pushes away people who are just not interested. The ones attracted is not necessarily staying on and the ones not interested goes elsewhere and just don’t come back.

  13. At least 9 & 10 have shortened their 7.30 show but 7 are dragging the chain. I don’t understand how 7 can give up almost 90 minutes to a show like Bride & Prejudice that no one wants to watch anyway.
    Enjoying TARA. I have watched it over the Block which I normally love.

    • “how 7 can give up almost 90 minutes to a show like Bride & Prejudice that no one wants to watch anyway”. Tell me, what is your “opinion” of Love Island’s ratings, as last night alone was 158,000 viewers behind Bride and Prejudice.

      • TBF aside from the different timeslots, it is ahead in the demos and has 250k plus online views. Still not a great total people overnight number for 8:40 (with the lead in it has), but for it’s demo audience, its a mile in front of Bride and Predjudice. Even on Sunday in 16-39 demo with Love Island on 9GO and nearly 300k total people difference it was only 8,000 behind

  14. I think there are a few issues – 8:30 isn’t really the standard anymore – there’s 8:40, 8:45, 9:15 finish times, so if you are watching a different channel, there’s every chance you’ll miss the start of something. I know for us, with such busy lifestyles, we only really commit to a few shows religiously, and stream a lot of stuff post 8:30 – HYBPA and the comedy night on ABC are the only ones we really do live. I WAS doing BH90210 but then it was moved…

    Secondly – not a lot of options at 8:30. Love Island doesn’t really suit an 8:30 timeslot, I’m not interested in babies and people in labour – I feel like channels aren’t building nights like they used to anymore, where you’d settle in to a channel for the evening. Choices of what shows go together feel really random – how many TARA viewers are going to stick around for a niche medical show? The Block and Love Island – very…

    • Agree. Agree. Agree! Our viewing habits are almost identical. We’ve gone from watching FTA all night, every night to only a few shows HYBPA and Googlebox each week. And that’s really it. We go to Netflix or watch occasional pre recorded shows.

      We did watch 90210 but they bumped it with little to no notice so now series link it and skip the adverts. I don’t think FTA stations Will ever learn now.

  15. I think the death of 8:30 audience numbers has been caused mostly by shows not starting at 8:30 due to lengthy reality shows beforehand. Large numbers of people don’t want to start watching a drama at 9:10pm. 10 seems to be getting better at wrapping up a lot of their 7:30 shows by 8:40. Hopefully this trend continues next year.

      • Frankly, 8:30 is no longer much watch TV as blog commenters have noted: Reality dominates at 7:30 and there is no consistency. I give ABC and SBS point for that with their themes during the week. But I similarly struggle to commit to commercial offerings as the dramas (Aussie, US or UK) are not there every week. The UK dramas that 7 airs are ‘burnt off’ in doubles. I was looking forward to Doctor Doctor, but again that has been held off. So the same time to expect a drama each year is not there. Viewers are creatures of habit and programmers have forgotten this!

    • Yes, you’re right there. Once they started programmes at random times it became difficult to watch on FTA and much easier to watch on streaming services.

  16. I think that the australian channels have caused this. By filling our year with reality tentpoles that run across mutliple nights, it feels like a part time job just trying to keep up with the shows that you commit to. 10 years ago if you watched a show, you watched it once a week and looked forward to it. Now things like MAFS, bachellr, block, house rules, survivor, celebrity etc take multiple night commitments and it just fills up more of the time you can allocate to TV a week.Personally, 7.30pm is also too early to sit down to start viewing for the night so I am typically watching the 7.30pm shows from 8.30pm anyway, where I can watch them adless and in half the time on PVR…..

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