SCA draws first blood as WIN ad bookings tumble

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 26 August 2016

Southern Cross Austereo’s switch to Nine has fuelled a dramatic turnaround in regional ad bookings since it took over from former Nine affiliate WIN.

Just a day after rival Prime reported painful revenue declines due to a shrinking regional audiences and advertising, Southern Cross told the market it was optimistic about future growth, and agency ad booking figures explain why.

In August, SCA began broadcasting Nine content while WIN played content from Ten.

By the end of the month, something remarkable but not entirely unpredictable had happened – Southern Cross had an uplift in agency ad bookings revenue of nearly 60% to $9 million while WIN’s bookings dropped to about $3.5 million, almost half of what it had made in July.

For advertisers and agencies the equation was simple, Nine’s content remains as attractive to regional advertisers on SCA as it had been on WIN for many years.

It’s not quite a straight swap. Geographically, the broadcasting tentacles of the competing regional networks varies, so a like-for-like comparison does not tell the whole story.

But Nine chief sales officer Michael Stephenson tells AdNews the new regional affiliation agreement with SCA is a bright spot in what has been a tough fiscal year.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for us to partner with Southern Cross Austereo for a whole range of reasons,” he says.

“After the 1st of July, what they’ve effectively done through their affiliation with us is double their audience. They’re incredibly enthusiastic, motivated and supportive of what we are trying to do - the relationship couldn’t be any better.”

With only one month of ad bookings data chalked up under the new regime, it’s not possible to conclude the relative strengths of the new alliances, but the early signs are the switch has benefited SCA more than WIN.

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