Television has failed to excite the marketplace: Nine CEO

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 26 February 2015

Television has failed to excite the marketplace, according to Nine Entertainment Company CEO David Gyngell.

He was speaking at the presentation of Nine's half-yearly results, where it booked a net profit after tax of $88.8 million, which was within guidance on the back of revenue of $829.2 million.

Despite this being 6.7% and 1.9% down on the prior corresponding period respectively, CEO Gyngell says there's still too much negative sentiment around TV in the marketplace, and much of this comes down to programming.

“I think there's a bit of an obligation on the industry to ensure we're providing the right content for their consumption," he said.

"They do have choices, but when they find something they like they pile back into your particular medium which is still free and still available in all homes."

He said the television industry could do a lot more to excite the marketplace and viewers.

"It hasn't been a exciting start to the year. We've had House of Hancock which has been great and Gallipoli which hasn't been great for us, but great for Stan," he said.

"Outside that, I don't see a lot which is exciting, and a lot of you as viewers would say the same thing.

"There's a little bit of groundhog day going on when you look across the schedules at 7.30pm."

Despite the observations on the quality of programming, he said Nine was more optimistic on the free-to-air market than its competitors.

Nine said that it had observed the free-to-air advertising market rebound slightly at the start of this year, after seeing a decline of 3% in the reporting period.

However, it admitted that it had a limited view of the market going forward.

Gyngell also said that the migration of audiences to other mediums had been overplayed. Interestingly, he noted that while subscription video on demand service Stan had not impacted upon its raw numbers for Gallipoli, that it had been borne out in the OzTAM ratings data.

"This is a Gyngell theory," he said, "but the people with panels in their homes are really early adopters of new technology so they're attracted to services like Stan."

"So we think there's been a better than reported audience for Gallipoli, but those who are impacting on the OzTAM ratings are seeking the show out on that platform, meaning the numbers are being thrown out."

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