Ten: Now it's our turn to take 30% share

By By David Blight | 14 August 2012
Puberty Blues.

Ten's newly installed sales boss, Barry O'Brien, has argued Ten has passed through the "tough stuff", and reiterated Lachlan Murdoch's claim from last year the company is now pushing for 30% revenue share.

O'Brien argued that with major cost-cutting and capital raising exercises now under Ten's belt, and with new programming and a new format being implemented, the company is in an ideal position to “move forward”.

“This is our time," he said. "Now is the first period under [Ten chief] James [Warburton] and his new team, that James and his direction have had a clear space. Ten has had to work through existing programming, as well as all the tough stuff like cost cutting and capital raising.

“Of course, you have to polish your business every day, but now it looks like there is some clear space.”

O'Brien also commented on a previous claim from former Ten interim chief Lachlan Murdoch, who said last year Ten would be able to take 30% revenue share in the battle with Seven and Nine.

Seven held 40% share in the latest KPMG figures which measured the commercial free-to-air television market in the six months to June. Nine had 34.5% while Ten had 25.5%.

O'Brien said: “Can we get the 30% share? Our expectation is to try to deliver that 30% share. But we'll need success on screen, we'll need to get results.”

In terms of ratings, Ten has frequently been falling behind Seven and Nine. The broadcaster's new program Everybody Dance Now saw 300,000 viewers in only its second showing last night, according to OzTam. It was trumped by Nine's Underbelly: Badness and Big Brother.

Meanwhile, shows like The Shire and Being Lara Bingle have not hit major highs, and suffered during the Olympics.

However, Ten's flagship program MasterChef managed to see strong ratings of around 1.5 million in its later episodes, particularly after Nine's The Block finished up for the season.

O'Brien said he was particularly optimistic about the upcoming release of Australian drama series Puberty Blues.

He also said Ten maintains a strong ratings position in its core 16-39 and 18-49 demographics, but also said he would like to see strong overall ratings.

When asked about where the increased revenue share would come from, O'Brien said: “It doesn't matter where it comes from. I'm not going to bar anybody.”

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