Nine loses Big Bang Theory back catalogue rights to Seven

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 1 September 2015
The Big Bang Theory

Nine no longer has the exclusive rights to the back catalogue of international hot TV property The Big Bang Theory, as Channel Seven swoops in to secure the rights.

In a move which is though to be part of its wider deal with Warner Bros, Seven has its mits on seasons one to seven of the hit show.

While Nine will air the new seasons of the show, the popular back catalogue will now be aired on Seven. Towards the end of last year, when Nine broadcast The Big Bang Theory as a double-episode with a new episode and a repeat afterwards, it often topped the overnight OzTam ratings.

Sever Network director of programming Angus Ross told AdNews: “The Big Bang Theory is the world’s biggest comedy. It provides demographic certainty for Seven.

“It will ensure we have Australia’s biggest digital channels and will give 7Mate unprecedented demographic dominance.”

UM Australia CEO Mat Baxter told AdNews the back catalogue of hot international property can be lucrative for stations given market fluctuations with other shows.

"These days there is a lot of volatility in the market so a show that performs consistently throughout the week is a very valuable asset."

The stars of the show were recently revealed by Forbes to be among television’s highest paid actors, with Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper on the show, pulling in a 2015 salary of $US29 million.

One indsutry insider said: "It really isn't common for a big show that's associated with a certain channel to flip-flop over to another.

"The Big Bang Theory is one of the top two or three shows in the market. I can't imagine a world where Nine would be happy about this. It was either out of its hands as Seven worked it into its Warner Bros deal, or Nine just couldn't afford it.”

The news follows Nine Entertainment Co's investor results last week, in which CEO David Gyngell pointed to a focus on locally produced shows both on its free to air networks and its streaming service, Stan.

“This is going to be our differentiator,” Gyngell said.

“The difference between us and our competitors is that we're going to have a much more Australian tone.

“You want locally produced, you want to have stories that are told that you have already been given marketing benefits of by people knowing about that subject matter.”

It also comes after Nine restructured its output deal with Warner Bros Studios, thought to be part of a bid to improve its position before the NRL broadcasting rights deal.

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