Networks quizzed: “Who is your competition?”

Seven, Nine & 10 take differing views on who their main competition is ...but no punch ups in the car park at North Ryde hotel please.

They recently came together for the Australia Unites appeal, but who do commercial networks view as their main competition?

It’s a question posed to execs at the recent Screen Forever conference by In Conversation host Brian Walsh.

Beverley McGarvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer of Paramount Australia and New Zealand.
Everybody, but also ourselves. The competition is everywhere….. you really have to earn peoples’ money, you have to earn their time…. we’re saying to people come and watch Survivor, come and watch Halo, PAW Patrol. So first of all, we have to be really careful about how we manage our audiences within our own ecosystem. Moving beyond that, of course, the other Free to Airs, the pay TV business, the subscription business, the big internationals, are all our competitors, because what they are competing for is competing for people’s time & money. And then of course, there’s the short form content, which is still competition because people have a finite amount of hours in their day to watch content. So in order for them to choose you, you have to make it a very compelling proposition. At different points of people’s day, and points of people’s lives, they make different choices. And that’s okay. I think we all have to be incredibly analytical and understand what audiences are served at different times on different platforms to be competitive. It’s just so much more complicated than it used to be -but that’s an opportunity as well.

Brook Hall, Director of Content Scheduling Seven Network
The global streamers. When we’re talking about the big players in this market… we’ve got tighter restrictions, more regulations. Some of these players are trillion dollar companies. We’re small change in the market here, competing with the lions and what they do. The big strength is we know the market better. They’re largely not in Sport and local Reality is still very limited. I think that’s probably why you’re seeing a push from all of us… it’s not that we’re vacating areas. We’re going to areas that these global behemoths are not touching and probably doesn’t make financial sense for them to touch.

Adrian Swift, Head of Content Production and Development
The old days of punch ups in the car park at the North Ryde hotel are gone. The Milperra massacre might have been television executives, who knows! Those days are gone now. I think our enemies are Facebook, Google, all the people who are taking all our advertising…. I think there will be a much more concerted version of how people see what we offer, which is both Free to Air and On Demand television. Look, I hope it’s a kinder, gentler world. But whenever those words leave my lips, I think ‘Oh no there’s going to be another dust-up in the car park.’

One Response

  1. Google and Facebook didn’t take their advertising, they offered a better service in targeted advertising, which the networks use on their catch-up sites. Netflix, Disney and Amazon didn’t steal their viewers either, the offer them attractive content, without ads, whenever they want to watch it, at a reasonable price. Though competition is tough for them too, costs of production have skyrocketed and Netflix is going to have to cope without subscriber growth, now that that has peaked. At the Senate Inquiry they claimed that the ABC and SBS were their competitors, and they should be stopped. Seen to have forgotten about that.

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