Forget the failures: Sintras and Steedman optimistic about Ten

By By David Blight | 28 August 2012

After yesterday's ratings and share price disaster it seems Ten is in even more trouble, but leading media buyers John Steedman and John Sintras have been optimistic in their outlook for the beleaguered broadcaster.

On Sunday night, Ten's audience share on its main channel plummeted to just 6.6%, according to preliminary overnight figures from OzTam. Meanwhile, the company's share price had sunk to 41 cents, after months of continuing declines.

The result followed a week of horrible ratings and the resignation of head of programming David Mott.

The network can't seem to catch a break with its programming decisions largely falling flat. Everybody Dance Now was canned after just four episodes, while disappoionting debut numbers were recorded for I Will Survive, Don't Tell The Bride and the revamped Can of Worms.

Despite the continuing run of bad luck, two of Australia's most powerful media buyers - GroupM's John Steedman and Ten's media buying partner John Sintras from Starcom - have been relatively optimistic about Ten's future.

GroupM chairman John Steedman told AdNews: “Everything is a cycle so they can definitely recover. [Ten chief executive James] Warburton is no fool.

“It requires patiences and a strategy. At the moment it seems the strategy keeps changing, but if they implement a longer term strategy they will start to see a recovery in about 18 months. It won't happen overnight.

“Ten needs to look at its programming, at both its Australian and international content, and it needs to avoid chopping and changing its strategy so much, because that is what throws viewers out.

“If it does this, it can recover.”

Meanwhile, Starcom MediaVest chief executive John Sintras - who counts Ten as one of his clients - said: “Anything can be turned around, and it is important that Ten does turn around, because we need three healthy free-to-air networks. It's in everybody's interests.

“If Ten makes the right programming calls, then it can be turned around.

“Seven went through this, so did Nine. Ten is just going through its own cycle. It's a lengthening cycle, but it only takes one or two good shows.

“Ten is trying lots of stuff, and their programming is falling in the ballpark of their strategy. Most of the material they are releasing is youthful and irreverent. Ten just needs to hit one or two successes.”

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