What went wrong for The Voice?

What a difference six weeks makes.

That was when Chris Sebastian won The Voice 2020 with 911,000 metro viewers. Although that was down on 2019’s 1.02m Nine was upbeat about its BVOS numbers, up 78% year-on-year (22% for the season).

Nine certainly had intent for another seasons. In June it even advertised for 2021 casting. So what went wrong?

Last week Hugh Marks was flagging the $40m costs associated the show without letting on Nine had already walked away from the show.

“If you look at shows like The Voice, which was a $40m cost in the schedule, as you go forward those shows get a little bit more difficult to hold onto. Over the next couple of years you’ll see some of those higher cost shows be replaced by some other initiatives which we’ll have,” he said.

Yesterday Seven surprised the market by announcing it had swooped on the show. Seven plans a trimmer season, reportedly to move from blind auditions to semi-finals. It will likely keep costs down with local judges.

Sonia Kruger, a James Warburton favourite, is now aligned with Big Brother, The Voice (both of which she hosted on Nine), and as a judge on Australia’s Got Talent for when it regroups. Don’t forget she was originally announced for Holey Moley….

While Nine is tightening its belt, the Australian Financial Review even suggests Seven might look at Australian Ninja Warrior next (and let us never mention Australian Spartan, right?).

Meanwhile what will Nine air in place of The Voice‘s 8 weeks? It isn’t saying just yet, with virtual Upfronts due on September 16.

Marks also said,”If you look year on year generally through that winter period is when we would play Love Island, it’s a dominant performer in BVOD. We had neither the Australian Love Island nor any of the offshore versions (which) have all been postponed due to COVID.”

Except that Nine has never had Love Island Australia on air in winter.

So if we’re to read between the lines, is this the plan for next winter? The show is a hit with younger viewers which The Voice was not.

Coincidentally, it to is produced by ITV Studios Australia…


  1. Much prefer love island au to married at first sight. The first season of love island was a big success internationally. I can only watch a couple of episodes of married. Too many weirdos and posers.

    The voice has been good but perhaps they need to shuffle up the coaches, if there are any stupid covid restrictions and zoom conferences like in season 9 they should give up.

  2. I think spending big on international judges would have cost too much and is it worth it? Guy and Delta are just as good at judging as Kelly and Boy George plus they’re a bit more relatable. And The Masked Singer is no different with Urzila than it was with Lindsay Lohan and again she’s more genuine because she actually knows more of the local talent that could be behind the mask.

    Seven could for sure save money not flying in and accomodating stars from overseas.

  3. Nine have no one to blame but themselves! This season was all about pathetic judge fighting (I’m looking at you Kelly!!!) to too short finals (20 people down to 4 over 2 nights) and then too many similar rounds – Battles and then same same Playoffs! There was no opportunity to really get to know the singers. They can’t blame COVID either!!! Was just an awful season!

    • Unfortunately, I read in the paper that as part of 7’s “cost cutting” they want to just show the high rating Blind Auditions then go straight to semi’s & grand final. They are going the alternate route of,
      “let’s make a fast pace television program” instead of “let’s try find the next voice of australia’. :/

  4. Samoan_Traveller

    Hopefully “Musically” Channel 7 Can Make A Star Out Of The Winner…. I Struggle To Recall Anyone Famous Or Successful To Come Out Of “The Voice” TV Show Whilst It Was On Channel 9, Whereas Most Winners And A Few Of The Contestants From Channel 7 Shows Like “X Factor” & “A.G.T” Have Gone On To Make Good Careers Commercially.

  5. Interesting to see that 9 still has Sonia on the homepage of their 9nation website which is being advertised heavily on the block 🙂

  6. It just became too stale. From the Jessie J vs Delta Drama in 2015 – the show became a soap opera about the judges and steered away from being about unearthing new talent. Plus the fact that no winners have really gone on to great things hasnt helped their case. It’s a shame coz the format still has some great potential and does well overseas it just needs to go back to it’s roots.

  7. Nine did a terrible job of The Voice, especially in the last 3 years. Mainly due to casting. Sonia will be ok but they need to seriously look at the judges. Get some real Aussie judges like Jimmy Barnes. The show has too much of an American vibe.

  8. Seven though does have a habit of aquiring shows and doing them on the cheap. That is – taking shortcuts with production,graphics and other technology associated with production. Just look at the technology used on 7AFL vs FOX Footy. FOX virtual graphics and other have been years ahead of the Seven coverage. My tip – smaller studio, smaller (if allowed) crowds, less cameras etc….

  9. With a suggested $20m format fee and then $20m in production costs, it would be hard to see how they would make money. I would have assumed that to some extent, The Voice would have been a loss leader for Nine.

    Without any real knowledge of the situation, it seems Nine were possibly trying to force down format costs to negotiate a new deal but Seven came in and just paid above the odds for the product.

    While some people are over it…. it shows why Nine love going back to the Block. They own it, so they dont have to pay a format fee as well as being a format that is heavily suited to product integration.

    Maybe networks should be spending some more money trying to develop their own new formats instead of just buying them.?!?

  10. Surely its to do with declining ratings especially in the demos vs revenue from an expensive format. I think 9 did the right thing and can put the money into other shows. I dont think there is much life left in it I stopped watching years ago and definately wont be watching this on 7.

    Making the season even more trimmed and short is rediculous for singers who really want success but i guess anyone who applies knows what happens to winners anyway. You will never get a real winner anymore with some success, people are not able to really connect with them which is what made idol and x factor so good. (It is however difficult for an Australian artist to chart these days compared to a few years ago).

  11. It seemed obvious to me mine wasn’t going to be doing the voice again. It’s pretty clear they want cheaper programming.

    The question is how long will seven hold on to it?

    • Seven are desperately trying to rebuild after the decline of MKR with known contest shows. They have already picked up BB and Farmer Wants A Wife. They have also said they want Ninja but that’s just posturing to try and drive Nine’s costs up, I doubt they have slot or cash for that. Seven are in more financial trouble. Nine is looking to concentrate on Stan and its papers to take on News Corp.

      Marks was just spinning the story for shareholders and the media, so it wouldn’t be a shock.

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