The Voice and cricket will turn fortunes in second half

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 19 June 2015

Nine Entertainment is confident that programming in the second half of the year will reverse its fortunes and carry it through the year, with group sales and marketing director Peter Wiltshire saying that The Voice and the Ashes offer the “potential for a large audience shift back in our favour.” And the money follows the audience.

Other shows coming in the back half of the year include a new cooking format reality series, House Husbands, the NRL final series, one Origin to come, a new series of Farmer Wants a Wife and Celebrity Apprentice – that are all expected by the network to improve its numbers.

“The reason we’re confident about a different result [in the second half] is The Voice kicks off in a couple of weeks and that carries us through for the next three months. The other thing is the Ashes. We’re not sharing the rights with anybody else, we’re sending our own commentary team over to the UK to bring Australian commentary back, which we’ve never done before,” he said.

Nine is also airing the Ashes on its GEM station and giving viewers who don’t want to watch the cricket an alternative choice on Nine, which will give an increase in total audience performance across the portfolio. Just how much an increase in audience isn’t clear. 

“When you’ve got those two events happening at the same time – one of the world’s biggest reality formats and one of the world’s greatest sports clashes happening on air in the middle of winter at the same time, you’ve got to be feeling pretty good about the potential for a large audience shift back in our favour,” Wiltshire said.

“What we find more and more is that when big format content is on the air, revenue is heavily weighted towards those formats so you see spikes and troughs in the way that revenue follows the content strategy.

“We move our programming around ... so we can be as effective as possible, and that changes year to year – you programme for what you know, and for what you don’t know. You anticipate what others are doing and maximise your own content to get the best result – sometimes you get that right sometimes you get it wrong,” he said.

Nine issued a profit downgrade earlier this month, telling the market that a softer than anticipated ad market meant that it was downgrading guidance from around $311 million to closer to $290 million for the 2015 financial year. CEO David Gyngell moved to tell investors that it was just a “bump”.

Meanwhile, in response Seven Network moved to reassure the market its guidance was maintained. However analysts have projected that Network Ten will take a larger share of audience and ad revenue from both Nine and Seven in the coming months.

A version of this story originally appeared in the latest version of AdNews Magazine (12 June). Want more? You can subscribe both in Print and on your iPad here.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

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