Ten's Big Bash back-up plan

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 25 July 2018

In preparation for Ten's 'cricketless summer', the network will adopt a "counter-programming" strategy, commissioning several new shows for its November and December line-up.

For the first time since 2013, Ten won't be airing the popular Big Bash League (BBL).

The Twenty20 cricket competition was the network's summer ratings shining star, consistently drawing in steady viewer numbers during the December and January ratings period.

Ten's GM of revenue and client partnerships Rod Prosser says the process of developing a raft of new programs has had a direct impact on the launch of its Q2 programming, with the company "arguably late in terms of where it wanted to be".

"Of course, our tentpoles are all there, such as Survivor and The Bachelor, but it's just about adding all those other ones, which we've now announced, however, it does leave us a little behind in our strategy," he says.

Ten will now turn its focus to those viewers who aren't interested in engaging with sport over summer, Rosser explains.

"We've already got stable programs that go right up towards November. For a long period of time that was okay for us because we then headed into the BBL season, with that starting back up in December," he says.

"Obviously we don't have those rights anymore, so the new strategy now is to 'go hot' right up until Christmas until we relaunch with a new strategy in January."

For Prosser, "going hot" means commissioning a variety of new shows that will need to launch earlier than the traditional ratings period, in the second half of the year.

Despite losing the BBL rights to Seven and Foxtel earlier this year, Ten isn't concerned with the impact it will have on advertising revenue, despite what the show did for ratings over the Christmas and New Year period.

"What I say to advertisers is there was a long period of time where Ten didn't have sport, so we know the challenges that come with that, but we also know the programming strategy that keeps viewers engaged," Prosser says.

"This has once again given us an opportunity to counter program and offer alternative content, which is something we've done countless times before." 

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