How important is winning a Logie or an AACTA award to a network?
That’s a question TV Tonight recently put to 5 Programming execs.
Last year Seven and Nine walked away with 0 Logie wins (Nine-owned Stan picked up 1 award, or 2 if you count Deborah Mailman‘s Bite Club / Total Control win). Nine picked up 1 award at the AACTAs for Lego Masters and Seven 0 -that’s despite each being host broadcasters.
“It’s a reflection of the hard work”
Hamish Turner, Programming Director Nine recently said, “It was disappointing from a Logies perspective.
“(Awards) are very important. It’s a reflection of the hard work of both the performers and the people behind the scenes, whether a Drama, Reality or News.”
“We live and die by ratings”
Angus Ross, Director of Programming, Seven agreed, saying, “I think anytime you receive an award, it’s a very nice experience, and recognition of work well done.
“But in the end, we live and die by ratings which equate to revenue and that’s what our business model is based on. Awards very often don’t drive ratings.”
On that point Turner concurs, noting AACTAs are industry-based versus the Popular awards at the Logies.
“AACTAs are perhaps not reflective of a broader Australian audience. We are a commercial business that tries to appeal to the masses. I think Outstanding (awards) should also be reflective of something that appeals to a broad audience.
“We have a measurement which basically tells you what the most popular show is”
“We have a measurement which basically tells you what the most popular show is, and that perhaps should be taken into consideration.”
Networks may be getting their wish. This year the Logies are being overhauled to take into account Industry Judges, Social Content and -for the first time- TV Ratings.
Daniel Monaghan, Head of Programming at 10 also sees more value in the daily ratings.
“We’d always rather have ratings than Logies, but it’s nice to be recognised and for the talent to be recognised. A lot of people in a lot of corners of the business work very hard,” he explains.
“Our audience is highly engaged”
Last year 10 scooped up 6 Logie wins despite being the third-ranked network. Yet 10 has a long tradition of asking viewers to vote, dating back to shows such as Big Brother and Australian Idol.
“One of our things at 10 is that our audience is highly engaged, which is something we’re very proud of. They’re very vocal and they watch every frame of every episode,” says Monaghan.
Ben Nguyen, SBS Channel Director, notes that in addition to recognising production teams, a win is also an acknowledgement of the broad direction a channel is headed.
“When Paul Fenech won the Logie for Housos I don’t think that was really expected. But it felt like recognition for someone who had been speaking with a very unique voice on SBS for a long time.
“It’s a primarily a commercial network audience who are watching the Logies and if we can run our wares by them in that context, that can only be a good thing.”
It was ABC who upstaged all-comers last year with 10 Logie wins, including the Gold for Tom Gleeson.
Yet Michael Carrington, Head of Entertainment & Specialist, ABC, says the Popular wins aren’t necessarily about simply reflecting the size of an audience.
“There’s the craft perspective, the jury is people who work in the industry recognising the amount of work and effort that goes into producing something.,” he said.
“It’s more about the impact or the emotional connection”
“And then there’s the Popular side, which might not necessarily be the number of people that watch, but it’s more about the impact or the emotional connection people are feeling to the piece of content.”
Disclaimer: TV Tonight is a partner of the AACTA Awards.